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Full text of "Historical centennial program, "From rapids to rockets" Rock Falls, Illinois July 30-August 5, 1967"

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I,, JULY 30-AU6UST 5, 1967 





Left to Right - C.L. Morgan, Jude Tarner, Marian Nicol, Rhonda Buckner, Barbara Buckner and R.H. Pettit 














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"-^-'' "^ o d SEWER DEPARTMENTS ^^^^ 

ELECTRIC, WATER and SEW ^^^^^^^^^^^^^.^.==^ 

JAMES e- ■■* 

PAUL. "■ A 

JOSEPH *■ P*" 


Residents oi 


, Fello>^ Residents centennial 

priends and tex „„pmorating ^^^^ „ur gala 

Guests, Frie .^ Commejno^ ^^^^ °^°e thanks 

During ^" „e P^*^^^ Jhievements as « organizaxJ- 
celebration, and achi^ persons an ^^^^^ 
^°!; °"the contribution of ^^^^ ,^e past ^^ 

ledge ^J^^.^ry of ^""^ . foundation on v»i^^ -^i tho; 

Success Story ^^^^ ^^" the fut-"'' ^""^^ 

propi'^-^'T. „ + 4on ot !"'*■■■' ^vip oast <-«■■ ' .-,-, 

'■■'•• r,,S;'S ."•»>. •••' "• ,„.„„.. ..-;;;•.;•, "S. 

and resolve , ,,v, to take ^^^J "^fen^^y "^° 

f"^'''^^' -.1 of «s, I «^t'' uos ■worked diHe 

--^^°^' c....erely,^ ^ '-' 






1867 A. P. Smith purchases site of Rock Falls. 

1868 Post Office is established. Methodist Church is organized. 
Gait and Tracy start machine shop. 

1869 Rock. Falls is incorporated as a village. Smith & Smith 
flouringmill is built;also the mitten factory. E.G.W. Parks 
paper mill is built. 

1870 Population 471. R.H. &R.H. Sheldon, Jr. erect implement 
house. Keystone Mfg. Co. is organized. 

1871 Eureka Mfg. Co. is org nized. The railroad comes to Rock 

1872 Industrial Building is built at a cost of $50, 000. Globe Mills 
begin operations . 

1873 H.F. Batcheller establishes Enterprise Works. 

1874 First bank is organized in October. Keystone Burial Case 
Co. is established. White Swan Ferry starts operating be- 
between Rock Falls and Sterling. 

1875 The Congregational Church is organized. 

1876 Pippert Meat Market begins business. 

1877 The Immanuel Lutheran Church is organized. Truman Cul- 
ver opens a shoe store. 

1878 The free bridge over Rock River is built. 

1879 Northwestern Barbed Wire Co. is organized. 

1880 Population 894. First high school class of 6 graduates. Big 
distillery fire; 1200 steers burned. 

1881 A.C. Stanley buys Newton's Grocery Store. 

1882 The Rock Falls News is established. 

1883 TheCB&QrailroadbridgeisbuiltoverRockRiver. I.O.O.F. 
Cemetery is established. 

1884 Batcheller Enterprize Works has a bad fire. The Creamery 
Package Company manufactures over 400,000 butter tubs. 

1885 Geo. W. Packer purchases the E.F. Brock Co., manufac- 
turers of the Yankee hand sled, butter tub machinery and 
blacksmith punches. 

1887 First Building and Loan Ass'n. is begun. Rock River on 

1888 CB &Q covered bridge burns . Stone Building of Merrill School 
is built. 

1889 Old schoolhouseis purchased for City Hall. Village becomes 
a city. 

1890 Population 1900. 

1891 Paper Mill explosion, 4 men killed. The Stanley house is 

1892 Bob sleds on sale at H.F. Batcheller & Sons - $10.00. 
2 pound can of salmon - 15(, picnic hams - 8(! a pound, 
granulated sugar, 23 lbs. for $1.00. 

1893 Grubb's Restaurant advertises 6 meals for $1.00. 320 acres 
of land for sale for $50.00 an acre. 

1894 Telephone line installed between Rock Falls and Tampico. 

1895 First electric light plant begun. Public schools closed on 
account of diphtheria. 

1896 A.J. McNeil Hardware Store and the Rock Falls News burn 
on January 3. 

1897 First Christian Church is organized. 

1898 Spanish American War begins; local boys mustered into 
army on May 11. Browning Club is organized at the home of 
Mrs. A.J. McNeil. 

1899 The Frank Building is built. Street names are changed. 
There is a city curfew; everyone under 16 must be home by 
8:00 p.m. 

1900 Population 2176. Culver block is built by Hardesty. 

1901 City holds special program in memory of assassinated 
President Grover McKinley. Start using steam scrapers in 
building of canal. 

1902 Johnston Lumber Co. begins business here. Corn is 5H! a 
bushel, wheat 65( and oats 39^. 

1903 City discovers case of small pox. 

1904 Keystone Co. begins manufacture of trucks. Avenue G bridge 
is built. 

1905 Sowles and Rubins begin businesses here. Seventh Day 
Adventist Church is organized. Kelley and Beales conduct 
Saturday night dances in Frank's Hall. 

1906 Avenue G bridges go out in ice jam. International Harvester 
has a $25,000 warehouse fire. An automobile is developed 
at the Keystone works of the International Harvester. 

1907 Feeder Canal opens on October 24. The RB&W purchases 
Cobb and Drew. 

1908 Local option for saloons. Coloma votes 373 "yes" and 381 
"no." Bridge over Howland Creek is built. 

1910 Population 2657. First Corn Carnival. Sam Frank begins 
selling Fords. Daniels begin business. 

1911 Kelley triplets are born. Daggett's Drug Store begins. Rock 
Falls Woman's Club is organized. 

1913 Wheelocks begin business here. Rock River Country Club is 
organized. Large electric Rock Falls sign, just east of First 
Avenue Bridge is erected by Rock Falls Woman's Club. 

1914 J.H. Rhyne comes to Rock Falls via canal on houseboat. 

1915 Because of scarcity of wheat, bread very likely to go up to 
6^! a loaf. Many cattle are being killed because of hoof and 
mouth disease. City of Rock Falls adopts commission form 
of government. 

1916 Our boys go to the war to end all wars. 

1917 Sam Frank selling Ford touring cars for $360.00. Butter is 
4H!, eggs 42^: and E.G. Kelsey complains that leather is 75^1 
a pound. 

1918 November 11, Armistice is declared. 

1919 There is rationing of coal due to shipping difficulties. Paper 
mill warehouse at Fifth Avenue and West Second Street burns. 

1920 Population 2927. Geyers barn and factory on Second Avenue 
burns. Mechling Barge Line begins business onfeeder canal. 

1921 Girardi Building is built. 

1922 January 22, the Methodist Church is a total loss by fire. 
First Rock Falls National Bank closes its doors June 5. 

1923 Present First Avenue Bridge is built. W.J. McCarthy opens 
feed business at 103 Dixon Avenue. 

1925 Hill Electric Company begins business. 
192 7 Election to annex Rock Falls to Sterling - defeated. 
1928 Lawrence Park is dedicated. RB&W erects $150,000 addi- 
tion. Mott Co. and Vavra Paper Box Co. begin operations. 

1930 Population 3893. Parrish-Alford Co. is purchased by North- 
western Steel and Wire and moved to Rock Falls. 

1931 Frank Seward Grocery and Filling Station begins business. 

1932 Rock Falls Dairy begins business. 

1934 Christian Church has bad fire on February 5. 

1935 Corn Carnival is revived. 

1936 First sewage treatment plant is begun. 

1938 New Rock Falls Post Office is opened. 

1939 Humphrey Agency begins business. 

1940 Population 4987. 

1941 December 7, Pearl Harbor is bombed. 
1945 New Rock Falls Bank opens, November 25. 

1947 International Harvester has $150,000 fire. 

1948 The new Avenue G bridges are built. 

1949 Thome School addition is built. Rock Falls Assembly of God 
Church is organized. 

1950 Population 7983. (Note the over 3000 gain in population in 
last decade.) Wheelocks Furniture Store and the Christian 
Church are destroyed by fire. St. Andrews Church is organ- 

1951 First Southern Baptist Church is organized in Trager Hall. 

1952 Illinois Forge Co. Is organized. Glenna Pohly becomes 
"Miss Illinois." 

1955 Population 10,208. (Note the over 2200 gain in population in 
only 5 years.) Community Presbyterian Church is organized. 

1956 Larson Co. moves to Rock Falls and begins production 
November 1. 

1957 Geyer Manufacturing Co; is sold to Wood, Shovel and Tool. 
First Church of the Nazarene is organized. Congregational 
Church occupies new sanctuary. 

1958 Basketball team of Rock Falls High School wins second place 
in State Basketball Tournament. 

1959 New band shelter is built in Veterans Memorial Park. 
Maranatha Baptist Church is organized. 

1960 Population 10,261. New Rock Falls Bank Building is built. 

1961 International Harvester Co. leaves Rock Falls. 

1962 First scheduled flight by Ozark Airlines to Whiteside County 

1963 East 11th Street bridge over canal is built to new Industrial 

1964 New Civic Center is built. 

1965 New Dixon Avenue bridge is built. Wood, Shovel and Tool 
Co. closes its doors. Community- Youth Building is built. 

1966 Videocraft Co. moves into part of Old International Building. 

1967 Rock Falls is 100 years old. Lawrence Brothers build new 
shipping facility near Rock Falls . 



In this day of rockets and space travel we are taking time in 
this year of Our Lord, 1967, to look backward in time to the be- 
ginnings of our community and city known as Rock Falls. Our city 
lies on the south bank of beautiful Rock River at a site, which be- 
fore the dams were built, had many rapids. We have seen many 
changes through the years and yet, essentially we are the same. 
The river's rapids are still there, though covered by several feet 
of water -yet still living; our forebears are still here;though buried 
in mother earth, they still live on in history and memory and through 
their descendants. 

In this book, we hope to take you back into time. Yet never for- 
getting that we must still live in the present and look to the future. 
A city that stands still, dies. We must, even while enjoying the 
past, prepare for a future of growth and progress. It is only through 
good schools, more business and industry and unselfish devotion 
and loyalty to our community that we can hope to progress to a bet- 
ter future for "our town" ROCK FALLS, ILLINOIS U.S.A. 


It is with a great deal of appreciation that the compiler of this 
booklet acknowledges the historians of the past and the help of many 
people in the present. 

As this is a souvenir booklet, we could not hope to cover and in- 
clude all the historical events, to our present time. Nor could we 
possibly name all the individuals whohavecontributed to the history 
of our community. If there are inaccuracies, we regret them, but 
historians and other "old timers" do not always agree. 

We owe thanks to all the individuals who have done research on 
the various facets of our booklet. Especially, do we acknowledge the 
help and cooperation of the Sterling-Rock Falls Historical Society. 

We have endeavored to compile this booklet to the best of our 
ability and with impartiality. As E. Searles said, quoted from the 
City Directory of 1877, "should any feel disposed to criticize the 
imperfections and errors which in a work of this kind, must neces- 
sarily occur owing to the imperfections of human understanding, 
the writer would only reply to such critic, by reminding him that 
nothing is so easy and so natural as to criticize what one has not 
the ability (and we might add time) to improve" . Instead of ten years, 
we have had 100 years of history to research. 

The following are a list of books from which we obtained most 
of the early history: "History of Whiteside County"' by Bent-Wilson 
published in 1877; "Biennial Directory of Sterling and Rock Falls" 
published by A.J. Booth and Co. in 1877-78; "Holland's Sterling 
and Rock Falls Directory" published in 1875; "History of Whiteside 
County" edited by W.W. Davis in 1908; "Portrait and Biographical 
Album" by Chapman Brothers in 1885; 1877 and 1912 Atlas; plus 
several personal scrapbooks and old newspaper files, which we 
have used as background material . 

-La Verne D. Montgomery 


Rivers carrying boats, Indian trails guiding wagons, cabins from 
logs and food from wildlife. . . that was the beginning of Rock Falls, 
with its modern marinas for water sportsmen, its highways and 
paved streets, duplex houses, motels and prefabricated buildings, 
steel structured factories and businesses, offering all that's needed 
to be comfortable. The cautious, uneducated pioneer has progressed 
to the fast moving pace of a factory engineer or business employee 
educated in our school system and often given an opportunity for 
further education through local organizations that have developed 
along with the city. 

It is doubtful that on May 8, 1832, when Blackhawk and his war- 
riors followed paths that are now our paved streets, he or anyone 
else could imagine where those roads would someday lead. The trail 
they followed goes from our present day Prophetstovra Road, straight 
to 11th Avenue, right-angled to 5th Street, across to 8th Avenue and 
the present Lutheran Church, north toward the river and 2nd Street, 
and finally to Dixon Avenue which led to the Dixon Ferry via the 
Rook Island Road. 1,900 United States troops camped in our area 

while in pursuit of Blackhawk. Among them were Jefferson Davis, 
Zachary Taylor, and Samuel Whiteside. Abraham Lincoln, 23, came 
from New Salem to lead a company of volunteers against Blackhawk. 

On January 16, 1836, Whiteside County was formed, named in 
honor of General Samuel Whiteside, the same officer who fought in 
the Indian wars from 1812 to the end of the Blackhawk War. It was 
his troops that left Prophetstown in flames in 1832. 

In 1837 Isaac Merrill, ouf first permanent citizen, settled here 
in Coloma Township. He was joined in a few weeks by Edward At- 
kins, and in the fall, by Noah Merrill and Daniel Brooks. Noah 
settled on the south side of the river opposite Eagle Island, the 
fourth island down from our present dam. His cabin was completed 
and prairie broke by 1838. Brooks built his one room cabin in the 
fall of 1837 in what is now the first ward of Rock Falls. Brooks and 
Noah Merrill had married sisters, so in the winter of 1837 and 
1838, the two families consisting of 11 people lived in Brooks' one 
room cabin. They had one bed and the floor as sleeping quarters. 
Noah's son. Nelson B. Merrill, was born November 6, 1838 and is 
believed to be the first white child born in Coloma Township. 

The first hotel in the area was started by Edward Atkins . It stood 
in the center of First Avenue, facing the river. 

Atkins, along with A.B. Wheeler, Isaac Merrill and Daniel 
Brooks, laid out the town of Rapids City. It was a mile square, oc- 
cupying the tract where Rock Falls now stands . 

Eight other gentlemen had moved to Coloma Township by Febru- 
ary of 1839. They were Ira Sillaman, Zurah Chapman, W.W.Durant, 
Samuel B. Gushing, John J. Gushing, Frank Gushing, Herman Em- 
mons and L.H. Woodworth. Durant opened a small store, the first 
in this vicinity. 

At this time the state decided to embark upon an extensive in- 
ternal improvement system. Rapids City was to have a canal which 
would facilitate navigation up the river. The contract for the canal 
was let to Ethan Nichols in 1839. He died in the same year, so the 
contract fell in the hands of his brother and Sanger and Galbreath. 
L.H. Woodworth became engineer in charge, his profession before 
coming west. 

The construction of the canal drew new settlers to Rapid City. 
The businesses grew and the town was prosperous. Sanger and 
Nichols opened a large store just west of the Industrial Building. A 
large workmen's shack was built to house the workers. It was lo- 
cated on the land to be later occupied by the home of A. P. Smith. 
The shack could house two families and contained a large stone 
fireplace. Later it was used to house families who were building 
cabins . 

The canal had progressed about half a mile between Avenues A 
and D, $40,000 having been spent already, when the sudden happi- 
ness of Rapids City turned just as quickly to despair. Financial 
panic hit the country and work on the canal ceased as did the town. 
Settlers picked up and left to find a living. The workmen scattered 
in the directions from which they came. The town was a ghost that 
only echoed the fallen dreams of its settlers. The Atkins' house stood 
like a lone sentry. Durant's store, the workmen's shack, L.H. 
Woodworth's cabin and Daniel Brooks cabin were left to carry on. 

Edward Atkins sold his interests in the town which included a 
valuable interest in the waterfront to James E. Cooley of New York. 
During the same winter a tribe of about 30 Winnebago Indians camp- 
ed in the vicinity, leaving in the spring of 1844 never to return again. 

Cooley pursuaded his brother-in-law, RichardArey, to takeover 
the hotel. He arrived with his wife and five children on May 11, 
1844. Atkins and his family moved to a smaller house. DanBatchel- 
ler and John Enderton were the only new settlers during 1844. New 
businesses were nil on the south side of the river. AH supplies had 
to be bought in Sterling and brought across the river by boat or 
fording the river. In the winter, they were carried across the ice. 

The roads at the time were still glorified Indian trails, the main 
one being from Dixon's Ferry to Prophetstown, used mostly by im- 
migrants going west. The 'lone tree' existed in a timber at Fair 
Point, a bend in the river. It was a honey locust tree of gigantic 
proportions which could be seen for miles around on a clear day. 
Travelers fancied it as a schooner at sea. It was a guidepost for 
many travelers until 1860, when a tornado whipped and twisted it to 
the ground. 

Up until this time not much had been done about organizing the 
town. The settlers were occupied with making a living. But in 1849 
an election was held in the county to allow the people to vote for or 


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against township organization. The vote passed and the county was 
laid out in townships, ours being Rapids with Montmorency attached 
for the time being. Hume was Imown as Jackson. 

The division, names and boundaries of the townships were de- 
cided byL.D'. Crandell, L.H. Woodworth and William Pollock under 
the new township organization law adopted at the election of Novem- 
ber 4, 1851. On February 24, 1852, the township of Rapids was 
ehanged to Coloma with Montmorency remaining a part of Coloma 
until 1859. 

Richard Arey's hotel was used as the meeting place for the first 
town meeting, Tuesday, April 6, 1852. Arey was named chairman 
and L.H. Woodworth was named moderator. Arey was also named 
clerk and supervisor; A.W. Worthington, town clerk; L.H. Wood- 
worth, assessor; A.F.R. Emmons, collector; Frank Gushing and 
Samuel Emmons, justices of the peace; and Sydney Barber, over- 
seer of highways. The same meeting also passed a resolution that 
on the final day of May, it would be illegal to allow swine to run at 
large within the township. The fine was set at$1.00 per head on any 
loose hogs, shoats or pigs. It was to be paid along with any damage 
done by the animals, by the owner. The decision was also made to 
assess town property$5.00 to defray the incidental expenses of the 
town. L.W. Cook was named overseer of the poor, L.L. Emmons, 
John Mason and Isaac Sturtevant as commissioners of highways, and 
A.F.R. Emmons, constable. 

These were the beginnings otanorganized town. The laws passed 
were suited to their needs. Foresight could be seen in the appoint- 
ment of an individual to tend to the poor, and in having 4 men to take 
care of so few roads. Their minds were with the future, as were 
the others mentioned in the original minute book (still in existence) 
such as J.C. Sturtevant, Herman Bassett, Henry Aument, J.G. 
Wood, John Enderston, Charles King, Newton Sturtevant, Joseph 
Golder and John D. Arey, (son of Richard). As the council and their 
ideas grew, the meeting place was changed in 1856 to the school- 
house. District 4, on Dixon Road. 

The river was the backbone to our township and interests were 
always centered around it. In 1855, the first power dam was built 
by Sterling interests, and a year later the residents of Coloma built 
a bridge by subscription, only to have it washed away by the spring 
torrents before it was ever used. 

In 1858 the township was still small, with only 31 houses and 
two schoolhouses. In the 1862 election, only 22 votes were polled. 
In an 1865 vote, as to whether a tax should be raised for paying 
bounties to Civil War volunteers, only 29 votes were cast, 24 yeas 
and 5 nays, but the scene was soon to change. 

Rock Falls 

In 1867, A. P. Smith bought 65 acres of land on the south side of 
the river, including that area occupied by the old workmen's shack. 
He hired John Arey to survey and lay out the town of Rock Falls. 
The plat of land was then recorded on January 28, 1868, at the 
county seat. This was the beginning of the Rock Falls we know as 
our town. The first child bom in our village was Lenoretta Barker, 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Barker. Gideon Reynolds and Mary 
Arey were the first to be wedded in 1867, and B.C. Hunt was the 
first to pass away, in 1868. 

We were a new town, with little organization. The people were 
few, but they were eager and ready to corporate themselves into a 
village of their own. They held their first town meeting on January 
26, 1869, after a public notice made by Truman Culver and John 
Arey was given to all. Unsurprisingly, the vote was unanimous, 
and we were on our way to becoming a real town. The votes that 
made the decision were cast by Truman Culver, J.L. Morrell, H. 
Hendricks, J. Smith, J.L. Backus, E.M. Day, C. Smith, W.E. 
Robins, W.L. Smith, W.W. Brown, Richard Arey, C.K. Brown, 
H.P. Price, J. A. Bickford and F.E. Palmer. William L. Smith 
was our first elected president and H.P. Price our clerk. 

The following month, February 4, another election was held in 
Culver's store. It was decided that we needed 5 trustees to repre- 
sent our town. 48 votes were cast which elected W.L. Smith, Wm. 
H. Shephard, Eli Geiger, Henry P. Price and J. A. Bickford. Gei- 
ger was also named treasurer, Charles H. Wellman was appointed 
constable, J. A. Patterson as supervisor, and John Arey as survey- 
or. William Smith was also named street commissioner, and Eli 
Eckman, pound master. On the 26th of the month, the newly elected 
Board of Trustees directed the clerk to order a seal for our town 
with the following inscription in the center, "Fundo in Tempero". 

Prohibiting the sale of malt liquors in quantities of less than a gal- 
lon was the first town ordinance, also passed at this meeting. They 
decided no licenses for saloons should be granted, which started a 
long debate and created the first split in political ideas as to whether 
a 'license' or 'no-license' party was to be elected and gain control 
of the town. The license party won three elections and the no-license 
party won five. In the meantime the population grew from 471 in 
1870 to over a 1,000 in 1877. . . .and the town kept growing. New 
tracts of land were purchased for new businesses. On January 19, 
1889, a committee consisting of W.H. Kadel, S.M. Mingle, and 
J.V. McCarty reported they had purchased the old West School 
building at a cost of $205 (which was used as the City Hall until 1965) 
and lot #1 In Block 7 for $500.00. 

As the population and land grew, so did the desires of the people 
of Rock Falls to incorporate their town into a city. This desire led 
to an election on April 16, 1889 to decide. 83 votes were cast for 
and 3 against the idea. We were now a city, a startling difference 
from the small settlement of 1837. The first city election was held 
on June 18 and Egbert Wilson was elected mayor. Our new city de- 
cided to have an alderman-type of government. The 1890's brought 
a changing people and a changing government. In October, 1899, 
the names of the streets were changed, under the instruction of 
those appointed by Mayor R.H. Woods. 

1919 brought another change in the type of government. We de- 
cided to try the commission form, which lasted until 1923, when 
we returned to the alderman form. 

Things were quiet for awhile until 1927, when a heated battle 
broke out. Some of the citizens wished to annex the city of Rock 
Falls to Sterling. Others were hotly against it. Those who wanted 
to join Sterling used issues such as the absence of a hospital in Rock 
Falls, as well as a library, telephone exchange, gas company, wa- 
ter company and business organizations. They also felt we needed 
better fire protection than we had. Sterling sided in with this group, 
of course, and offered to build a new Soldiers Memorial Hall as a 
civic center for both cities. They were even going to build it on our 
side of the river. But, the opposing group was too large and too 
strong in their desire to keep what they had built. They didn't want 
to lose the electric plant, and fearof higher taxes even boosted their 
anti-annexation drives. More than anything, they didn't want to lose 
their identity as a city. They had grown from little of nothing to a 
city, perhaps not as efficiently organized or equipped as Sterling, 
but potentially as powerful as the north side of the river. "Why 
should we sell out for a few conveniences when, in a few years, we 
can establish those things for ourselves?" The battle was bitter and 
long and used advertisements, press and letters to prove eachside's 
point, but in the election on November 22, 1927, the vote was 512 
for and 1180 against annexation. The inefficient city of Rock Falls 
decided to struggle by on their own. 

So on our own we grew from 2,927 population in 1920 to 3,893 
in 1930 and still another 1,000 in the next decade. The town turned 
toward improvements necessary to house its growing population. 
Between 1940 and 1950, another 3,000 people moved to Rock Falls. 
New homes sprang up south of Route 30. Subdivisions were laid out 
and unsafe housing was improved ordestroyed to helphouse our new 
citizens. In July of 1952, the city council voted to purchase property 
on 8th avenue from the Business Men's Association in the amount 
of $6,500, payable in 3 years. The property was used as the site 
for the Armory. A new municipal center was built in 1963 and the 
schoolhouse that had served us for 75 years as a city hall, was torn 
down in 1965 at a cost of $1, 790, (the building had cost only $205) . 

We still may not have everything that a city of our size needs, 
but we're not through growing either. New stores and businesses 
are coming in all the time, and the old ones are remodeling and im- 
proving to keep up. The city of Rock Falls is 100 years young, and 
still growing, still pioneering on modern highways that follow Indian 
paths, and flying in planes over the rapids that brought our first 
settlers to Rock Falls. 

The old Arey house that once stood in the middle of First Avenue 
faced north and was back about 100 feet from the bank of the Rock 
River. It was built by Edward Atkins in 1838 as the first hotel. The 
building was of local oak, butternut, black walnut, cherry and bass- 
wood, the only pine being on the inside doors and window sashes. 
The pine was brought by team from Chicago. The crown moulding 

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was made by hand. The rooms on the ground floor were large kit- 
chen, dining room, bar room and ladles parlor. Both parlor and bar 
were on the west side of the hall. Between these two rooms, the 
partition had an opening about four feet square which held the long 
wood stove. The stove pipe went up on the bar room side, heating 
both rooms with one stove . The finishing lumber in the house was 
black walnut and the floors were white oak. 

Richard Arey, wife and five children, came from Wellfleet, 
Mass. on Cape Cod, arriving in Rapids City, May 11, 1844. Their 
trip took a month from Albany, N.Y. to Buffalo and around the lakes 
to Chicago, and here by team and wagon. Atkins and his family 
moved to a smaller house to allow the Arey family to live in the 
hotel. Arey planted trees around the hotel, as well as an orchard in 
the 160 acres to the south. 

Pioneering had weakened the Arey family who were used to the 
city life of the east. Eight years after theArey's moved here, .Mrs. 
Arey passed away. Shehadgivenbirth to 3 children while living in this 
house, and her absence made it unbearable for the rest of the mem- 
bers to remain there. Nevertheless, Arey carried on and held the 
first town meeting in the hotel, where he was elected both chairman 
and clerk. 

In 1858, the hotel was moved to where the Sand K Clothing Store 
now sits. Arey remodeled the house and turned it into a 'duplex', 
renting out the west side, and living in the east side until 1888 when 
Thomas Gait bought it. He moved it to a site in back of the Metho- 
dist Church, where it remained until 1928, when it was torn down. 

The Arey house played a very Important part in the history of 
our area. All the elections were held there until the school was built 
on Dixon Road in 1855. The missionary workers gathered here, as 
the house was used as a Bible repository and Sunday school. Arey 
was known as the 'Deacon' until the time he died at the age of 88. 

Ist Ave. Bridge 

Bridge opened in 1863. The toll was 10( and the bridge tender's 
name was Robert Fulton. A boat was built and used as a ferry for 
awhile, operating about 200 feet east of this present bridge. 

In the meantime, another ferry was attempted at Broadway, 
using a complicated system of little boats stationed at 200 foot in- 
tervals to support a thousand foot cable anchored in midstream and 
attached to the ferry to be swung across the river by the current. 
It was not a success and ran only one season. 

In 1874, George Barr bought a steam tug at Lyons, Iowa and 
transformed it into a ferry which became locally famous as the 
White Swan. The Swan did a good passenger service until the first 
bridge was constructed on First Avenue, First Avenue being known 
as Bridge Street on old city maps. This bridge, built in 1878, was 
a free bridge. It was a six-span bridge, each span 170 feet, with 
the iron superstructure 20 feet above the bed of the river. It had a 
road bed 18 feet wide and a 5 foot walk on each side. This bridge 
served until 1923, when it was replaced by a brick sided bridge. 
This bridge is still used, except the brick sides have been replaced 
with new iron rails and new lights . 



As the early settlers scanned the horizon and looked across the 
Rock River, dread and anticipation must have been etched in each 
mind as they wondered what was on the other shore. In the early 
days of our community, transportation across the river presented 
many problems. Until 1856, the only way to get across the river 
was by fording, the best fording spot apparently being the foot of 
8th Avenue in Sterling, to just this side of the Government Dam in 
Rock Falls. In the winter they crossed on the ice. 

In 1856, a bridge was built by subscription, crossed from the 
foot of Avenue B in Sterling, to the tip of Lawrence Park, then 
known as Picnic Island and then to the south bank of the river at 
about 5th Avenue in Rock Falls. This bridge was short lived, as a 
great ice gorge in 1857 swept it away. 

A rope ferry was started from Avenue B in Sterling, below the 
lower dam and was completed in 1853 and operated until the Toll 

Ave. G Bridge Collopse 

The Avenue G to 12th Avenue, in Rock Falls bridges, had their 
disasters, too. The first one was barely completed and ready for 
travel when it was swept away by a tremendous ice gorge in 1906. 
By December of 1907, the second Avenue G bridge was completed. 
Sterling and the county sharing equally the $41, 500 cost. The total 
length was 1200 feet, built in two parts, covering channels on each 
side of the island. The south side was a truss bridge, a 300-foot 
span. The north part consisted of nine 100-foot spans and was a 
plate-girder structure, roadway 24 feet wide, the floor 20 feet above 
the normal surface of the water. The plate girders were 10 feet deep 
(or high), the bridge floor constructed of wooden bricks laid on the 
girder bed. Everyone thought the bridge looked firm enough to stand 
for all time, but some forty years later, a span fell in the river and 
the bridge was condemned. The present bridges were built in 1948 
and were paid for by the state . 


extends BEST WISHES 

to our many friends 

and neighbors in 


on the occasion of your 

100th Anniversary! 





Congratulations & Best Wishes 
to the City of Rock Falls 


1939 - 1967 

in the 
"Municipal Building" 

Wiss Betty Brown - Head Librarian 
Board Members: 

Mrs. Mary Marquis - Chairman 
Mr. Milton Ward - Secrstary 
Mr. Ml/ton Rubin - Treasurer 
Mrs. Anne Atilano 
Mr. James Baiter 
Mrs. Helen Cousins 
Mr. Clark Hoot 
Mrs. Dorothy Walter 
Mrs. Myrtle Welch 







204 2ND AVE., ROCK FALLS, ILL. 61011 
DIAL: 625-6118 


''The Lot with the Roof on Top" 


PHONE 626-1606 

The C.B. & Q. railroad bridge, built in 1883, was a covered 
bridge which burned spectacularly just five years later in 1888. On 
the night of October 23, before midnight, almost the entire popula- 
tion viewed the great conflagration leaping along the arches, till the 
whole structure was a blazing mass, 1200 feet of flame, from shore 
to shore. The piers remained intact and the following year, another 
frame superstructure was erected but not covered. The bridge was 
used thus, until the late 1920's when another fire engulfed the bridge 
burning out the center section. The old frame superstructure was 
then removed and the bridge rebuilt, using the same piers, and is 
as we see it today. 

The building of the canal in 1906 and 1907 necessitated the build- 
ing of a lot of bridges in the area through which it ran. The only 
original bridge within the confines of Coloma township is the one on 
east second street in Rock Falls. This bridge was never as high as 
the other bridges as it was not intended for large boats to go under 
it, as once in the river, the water depth would not be sufficient for 
them to navigate very far. 

A big event in this area occurred on October 24, 1907, when the 
new feeder canal was opened to traffic. A huge crowd estimated at 
25, 000 people, gathered to watch a huge street parade in the morn- 
ing and an aquatic parade for the opening of the canal in the after- 

The Dixon Avenue Bridge, which was a landmark from the build- 
ing of the canal, was replaced in 1965 with the City of Rock Falls, 
Coloma Township, Whiteside County and the State of Illinois, all 
sharing in the expense of the new bridge. The roadbed was widened, 
straightened and lowered. With the much heavier traffic of today, 
it is a much safer structure. 

A completely new bridge has been built across the canal at East 
11th Street, which leads to the Industrial Park. This bridge was 
constructed in 1963 and will help lead Rock Falls into the future. 
This bridge was built with funds shared jointly by the township and 
the county. 

The old high bridge on Route 88, which was of "S" design and 
was the scene of many auto accidents due to its sharp curves, has 
been replaced with a new wide structure. One too many trucks 
struck the bridge in 1965 and it was damaged beyond repair. The 
new bridge is built for today's modern high speed traffic, which is 
getting heavier as it leads to the Whiteside County Airport. 

Dixon Avenue Bridg. 


^^i^:^ ->i.:-^^ 


Ol' Rock River has always caused trouble, as It drains a large 
part of Wisconsin and almost all of Northern Illinois. Frequent ice 
gorges and times of high water are familiar to all who live in the 
Rock River Valley. 

One of the greatest ice gorges to occur on the river was in Feb- 
ruary of 1906. It was caused by the ice jamming between Portland 
and the Sterling-Rock Falls area. It reached its peak on February 
23, when another smaller jam near Dixon broke, sending a fresh 
rush of water down the river. 

The river began rising rapidly shortly after midnight. Warnings 
were sent to residents living on low ground and to all the manufac- 
turers who had plants along the river. But the rushing waters, ris- 
ing with a startling swiftness, could not beheld back and little could 
be done, except to flee before its power. Many residents who lived 
in Sterling, were forced to flee in their nightclothes . Rock Falls 
residents were more fortunate, as it is located on higher ground. 

Ice, which had been piling up in the river, and especially above 
the Avenue G bridge, had now the pressure of a mighty rush of 
water behind it and at 7:15 A.M. , the three south spans of the river 
were washed away and very shortly thereafter, the north end of the 
bridge was washed away. In the matter of a few short minutes, one 
of the strongest bridges on the Rock River, which had taken months 
to build, was destroyed by the immense power of the river. 

Over 1000 men in the Rock Falls -Sterling area were thrown out 
of work, due to the damage to the factories . The electric light and 
gas plants, too, were temporarily disabled and the cities were 
plunged into darkness for several nights. First Avenue Bridge was 
condemned and a warning was posted telling people they crossed the 
bridge at their own risk. 

Huge windrows of ice cakes were piled high along the banks of 
the river by the water. These took many weeks to thaw. 

A big event, which drew one of the largest crowds ever to gather 
in Rock Falls, occurred in October 24, 1907, when the feeder canal 
was opened to traffic. The project had been in the planning stage 
for many years. In fact, the preliminary surveys were made as 
early as 1871. In 1890, Congress made an appropriation of $500, 000 
to begin work on the Hennepin Canal, which was to extend from Hen- 
nepin to Milan, on the Mississippi. This section of the canal was 
dedicated in 1895. There were times when the water level in the canal 
was insufficient and it was decided to build a feeder from the Rock 

V. H. Lawrence, Operator, Dixon Ave Road in 1934 


and ionS/ inc. 


OFFICE: DIAL 625-6626 

IF NO ANSWER ...DIAL 625-1182 or 625-5839 



A. Lawrence, Operator in 1955 

River to the canal in Bureau County. At first, the engineers decided 
to tap the Rock River at Dixon, but interested parties in Rock Falls 
and Sterling felt it should be from our locality. C.C. Johnson, mi- 
nority leader of the legislature and C.L. Sheldon, made a trip to 
Washington and discussed the matter with the Hon. Redfield Potter, 
Secretary of War. He told them that if they could prove tapping the 
river at Rock Falls was more economical than it would be at Dixon, 
the government would listen. 

After Mr. Johnson and Mr. Sheldon returned, they met with 
prominent citizens of both Rock Falls and Sterling and they decided 
to hire Frank E. Andrews, a lawyer and surveyor, to make a sur- 
vey. His survey showed it would be 11 miles shorter and much less 
expensive to build the canal from Rock Falls than from Dixon. 
Government engineers were sent in to check the surveyors figures 
and the point was proved. 

In 1898, construction was begun on the feeder. A dam had to be 
built across Rock River in order to raise the water and to insure 
a proper flow into the canal through the feeder. The length of the 
Government dam across the river is 1300 feet and it raised the 
water 11 feet 6 inches above its common level. The overflow re- 
sulted in backing water upas far as Dixon and inundated 1,436 acres 
of land. Many small islands were inundated, but many still remain. 
The new shoreline created many choice building locations and beau- 
tiful homes line the river bank on both the south and north shores. 

The length of the feeder is 29. 3 miles and the Hennepin Canal is 
75 miles in length. The cost of the canal and feeder was between 
$8,000,000 and$10,000,000and the cost of the dam was $100,000. 

The opening day celebration drew a crowd estimated at 25,000 
on a beautiful October day. A huge street parade, 2-1/2 miles in 
length, took place in the morning and in the afternoon an aquatic 
parade of boats and launches from Rock Falls, Sterling and Dixon 
started on the river and entered the locks, going as far as the 
Dixon Avenue Bridge and returning. 

Among the speakers for the day were the Governor, Charles S. 
Deneen, former governor Samuel R. Van Sant, Congressman Frank 
O. Lowden and many others. Miss Grace Wheeler, now Mrs. Wm. 
Clingan of Sterling, the daughter of Captain L.L. Wheeler, the 
chief engineer for the project, had the privilege of opening the gates 
for the first time. 

The only lock on the feeder is the one at Rock River. For many 
years, there was a large grain elevator at Mile Nine, where many 
area farmers took their grain to be shipped. The tonnage of com- 
mercial freight hauled on the canal consisted of grain, gravel, coal, 
steel and iron. 

Unfortunately, the usefulness of the canal was shortlived. With 
the advent of better highways and large trucks, the canal fell into 
disuse. At present, the United States Government is trying tore- 
habilitate the property and it will eventually be turned over to the 
State of Illinois for recreational purposes. The many miles of canal 
bank could become one long park and wildlife refuge for the use of 
the citizens of the state. We hope it will again become auseful part 
of our community. 

Captain Wheeler was the superintendent in charge of the canal 
for many years . However, he always lived in Sterling and never in 
the big cement block government house. 

In 1914, Mr. Wheeler made it possible for J. A. Rhyne to trans- 
fer from lock #2 at Bureau. He came to Rock Falls so he might 
better educate his family. The family came by houseboat to Rock 
Falls, making the trip of 29 miles in 5 days. Charles Randall then 
lived in the Government House and a man by the name of Sturtevant 
lived in the small lock house across the canal. The Rhyne's bought 
a house at 804 East 2nd Street, which Mr. Rhyne's daughter still 
occupies. Mr. Rhyne was a lock tender, who had helped build the 
canal. While working at Bureau, they lived in a houseboat until a 
new house was built for them. Shortly after moving into the new 
house, a daughter, Alice, was born and was the first child born on 
canal property. 

The Joseph Sumption family also lived in the small lock tender 
house before moving to the big Government House. Mr. Sumption 
was succeeded by Virgil Beckley and Calvin Elliot is now lock ten- 
der and care taker. He has been here since 1952. 

At least one large business had its beginning as a result of the 
canal. In 1920, LeRoy Mechling and Fred Wolf of Rock Falls, began 
a barge line. They built their own steam boat, using a steam engine 
which they got from Paul Dillon, to push their barges. They bought 

gravel from a government pit east of Sheffield for 10( a yard, then 
hauled it to buyers all along the Hennepin Canal and feeder. They 
also hauled coal and steel for the International Harvester Co. 

Mr. Wolf sold his interest to Mr. Mechling about 1925. In 1930, 
Mr. Mechling extended the barge operations to include grain haul- 
ing from the various elevators along the canal, taking it to the grain 
terminals in Pekln. 

The company, now known as the A. L. Mechling Barge Line, has 
expanded its operations, until today it has a large fleet of towboats 
and barges operating on all major rivers and the Gulf of Mexico. 
In 1961, they transported the first Saturn Migsile from Huntsville, 
Alabama to Cape Canaveral. Since then, they have transported many 
other missiles. 

Headquarters for the barge line are in Joliet, Elinois. Mr. 
Mechling is now retired and living in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. 
His three sons are associated with him in the business. 

In 1908, the words and music of this song by L.L. Emmons was 
published in the Sterling Evening Gazette. Mr. Emmons was born 
in Coloma Township in 1856. 

O, beautiful river, Rock River of Gold 
I love your sweet mem'ries, sweet mem'ries of old. 
Your waters I've waded in childish delight, 
I've searched the old bayous for pond lilies white. (Chorus) 

My fancies revert to the old swimming hole. 

To the spots where I sat with my old fishing pole, 

Yes, those are the times that will never grow old. 

Those days 'long Rock River, Rock River of Gold . (Chorus) 

Oh, happy the hours when I played on your banks. 
And made your isles echo in light childish pranks. 
Ah, those are the mem'ries that never grow old. 
Sweet dreams of Rock River, Rock River of Gold. 


Unbidden fancies often go. 

To the bayous where pond lilies blow. 

My heart is with thee, oh beautiful Rock 

O, glimmering, shimmering Rock! 

Oh, beautiful river. Rock River of Gold, 

I love your sweet mem'ries, sweet mem'ries of old. 






Ventilating and Air-Conditioning 
100 First Ave., Rock Falls, Illinois 61071 

Comp 1 i men t s Of 

Ken & Ray's 
Auto B(Nly Shop 


Owners - Kent McGonigle & Ray Kulas 

Phone 625-8830 

• CotKTsniznt ljx££. \Pa1ku2a 

When your money matters . . . think FIRST 

Member F.D.I.C. 


At the time of the Civil War, Rock Falls, of course, had not yet 
been founded. Rapid City had ceased to exist as a town, but the 
township was pretty well settled. We have no definite information 
on how many men were in the Civil War from Coloma Township. 
We do know that there were four young men from the Arey house 
who enlisted. Corp. Richard Arey and James Arey - the names of 
the other two not known. Robei-t L. Atkins, who was born in the old 
house in 1846, was also in the Civil War. After the founding of Rock 
Falls in 1867, many Civil War Veterans came here to make their 

In 1898, the Will EndertonPost of the Grand Army of the Repub- 
lic, met in Woodworths Grove on Memorial Day. At the grove, the 
exercises opened with a song "Tenting on the Old Camp Ground," 
sung by a male quartet with Miss Elsie Leitch as accompanist. 
Chaplain James Arey invoked the divine blessing after which the 
Commander J.E. Durstine and Adjutant E.C. Winters, read the 
orders and Mrs. E.M. Ebersole sang a solo. 

Miss Ethel Durstine read Lincoln's Gettysburg address and Miss 
Jean Atkins gave a recitation. 

The following members of Will Enderton Post who were there 
that day were: F.D. Rosebrook, W.N. Pearl, George Canning, J.D. 
David, G.O. Bassett, James Sullivan, Wm. Barker, J.K. Williams, 
A.J. Bindsley, J.F. Brumley, Darius Underwood, Wm. Frank. 
E.C. Winters, CO. LaShelle, D.S. Underhill, J.O. Wagley, John 
Kadel, R.L. Atkins, J.C. Arey, J.V. McCarty, J. A. Morrison, 
Geo. Lowrey, H.L. Shifter, E.C. Palmer, Adam Brown, D.J. 
Melburg, Ira Compton, CO. Deyoe, W.A. Hall, M. Gassenschmidt, 
J.E. and W.G. Durstine, W.G. Patton, H.N. Hetherington and 
Freeman Clemmons. Truman Culver, who was a First Lieutenant 
and Henry Price, were also Civil War Veterans. Others who be- 
longed to this post were: H.L. Brewer, S.H. Stoner and J.O. Wag- 
ley. John Mosier, Charles Allen and Nelson Smith belonged to the 
Will Robinson Post in Sterling. These last six named, along with 
Geo. Canning and H.L. Shifter, were among the last survivors of 
the Civil War. 

This list of names, of course, gives only the survivors of this 
grim war. We know the youngest of the Arey family was killed in 
battle and, of course, many others. There are 57 Civil War Veter- 
ans buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery. Of this number, all were 
Union men but one. One lone Confederate soldier lies in this north- 
ern graveyard. 


The Sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry in which most of the volun- 
teers from Rock Falls served, was mustered into the United States 
Army on May 11, 1898. Companies E and I arrived in Santiago, 
Cuba onjuly 11, justafter the bombardment of that city hadstopped. 
The troops were on the Cruiser Columbia, but were not permitted 
to leave the ship and go ashore. On July 21, they left Santiago and 
on the following morning, landed at Guanica, Porto Rico. 

It proved to be a peaceful occupation of the island, as the Span- 
ish troops did not go on the offensive. The regiment had one minor 
skirmish with the enemy. Orders were given to proceed to Ponce 
and on July 30, they broke camp. It was a discouraging march. The 
roads were nearly impassable from the rains, the beef was not fit 
to eat, the ground was literally crawling with centipedes, half ripe 
bananas fried in grease was their only luxury and their outfits so 
heavy that even ammunition and bayonets were discarded. They 
spent 8 days of primitive existence in Ponce. 

Soon many of the boys were barefoot, some had no trousers, all 
had beards and all were half starved. The regular rations were 
hardtack and sowbelly. However, orders came to march homeward 
and morale was restored. 

On September 7th, they sailed on the Manitoba, an English trans- 
port and disembarked in New York on September 14. That same 
evening, they boarded the train for Springfield and on September 16, 
were in Camp Lincoln. On September 22, all companies were per- 
mitted to go home for a 60 day furlough, to return to Springfield 
and be mustered out on November 25, 1898. 

Some of the men listed in the original roster of the "Old Sixth" 
as being from Rock Falls were: Arthur Deem, Gus Hanson, DeVille 
B. Deyoe, Charles and Harry Eberle, Charles Johnson, Bert Pal- 
mer, Herman Rodemyer, Frank Rossiter, Sgt. F.E. Wagley, H. 
N. Geyer, Sam Feigley and Frank Blair. M.L. Alpress from Mont- 

morency also served. Some of these men's addresses were not 
listed as being Rock Falls and there may be others where this is 
the case. Arthur Deem was the last Spanish American War Veteran 
to pass away and died in 1964. He is buried in Riverside Cemetery. 
There are 17 veterans of this war buried in the Odd Fellows Ceme- 


Whiteside County sent approximately 3000 men to World War I 
and of that number, probably 400 to 500 were men from Rock Falls. 
They served in many regiments and divisions in all parts of Europe, 
and in all branches of the service. The 33rd division, made up of 
Illinois National Guard, was the most representative military or- 
ganization from the state; the 86th division that trained at Camp 
Grant inRockford, being broken up to make replacements for nearly 
every division in the army in France. 342 men from Whiteside 
County left Sterling on June 24 of 1918. 

The 33rd served with both the English and French armies as 
well as with General John Pershings American Army. 

After the Armistice was signed on November 11 of 1918, our 
men were kept overseas for occupation duty and it was not until 
June of 1919 that most of them were discharged and returned to 
their homes. 

Burt E. Brown Post No. 326, Veterans of Foreign Wars was 
named for the first boy from Rock Falls to die overseas in World 
War I. Eighty five World War I veterans are buried in the Odd Fel- 
lows Cemetery as of Memorial Day, 1967. 


World War I did not do what the boys of World War I fought for, 
and in the 1930's, the world was at war again in Europe. The United 
States had tried to remain neutral, but when Pearl Harbor was 
bombed on December 7, 1941 by the Japanese, we were again 
plunged into a world-wide conflagration. The boys from Rock Falls 
responded, as they always have. They enlisted or were drafted from 
many places in the nation where they were working or attending 
school. So an accurate count of numbers of men is a virtual impos- 
sibility. Pictures of 348 men appeared in the newspaper, but we 
know there were many more than that, that answered the call to the 

The men and women from "our town, "Rock Falls, served in all 
branches of the service and all over the world. Because of the large 
number, naming names is an impossibility. 

There are 31 World War U veterans buried in I.O.O.F. Ceme- 
tery as of Memorial Day, 1967. Undoubtedly, many more are buried 
in military cemeteries elsewhere. 

Since World War H, our men have also served in Korea and at 
present are giving service in the Viet Nam conflict. There are 3 
Korean War veterans in our cemetery. One has already been buried 
from Viet Nam and we know not how many more. 

Our men and women have always done their duty in any conflict 
in which our beloved country has been involved, and in years to 
come, will continue to do so. We pray someday, the giving of lives 
and service on the battlefield will become an outmoded way of set- 
tling the troubles of our world. 





''Complete Car Care'' 


PROPS. - John Walker and Joe Bright 
Phone 625-3484 




Freight Systems Inc. 


Phone 625-0423 

922 EAST ROUTE 30 

Congratulations to Rock Falls 
on your 100th Birthday 




During World War U, Rock Falls honored the boys who entered 
the service by erecting an Honor Roll on the side of the Wheelock 
Building on First Avenue. A huge white board was erected and as 
the boys were enlisted into the service their name was added to the 
others which had gone before them. And as each of the boys were 
reported "Killed in Action" a Gold Star was placed beside his name. 

In 1947, the Honor Roll was decommissioned with a service 
which was led by Sam Rubin, and which the High School band parti- 
cipated under the direction of Elmer Ziegler. Echo taps were 
played by Donny Little and Neil Tousley. 


The history of our area would not be complete without the men- 
tion of two townships - Montmorency and Hume, which have contri- 
buted much to the well-being of Rock Falls, because most of the 
residents in this area call Rock Falls their. post office and educate 
their children in our high school district. 

Montmorency was attached to Coloma Township, for judicial 
purposes, from the time the townships were organized in 1852, 
until it completed its own organization in 1859. 

Some of the early township officers whose names are still 
familiar family names are: Supervisors Joseph Colder, George 
Sawyer, Tyler McWhorter, C.C. Buell. Other names which still 
are familiar are: Colder, Woods, Church, Scott, Frank, Banes, 
Lawrence and Sturtz. 

Montmorency voted to subscribe $50,000 to the building of the 
Chicago, Rock River Railroad, which went through the northeast 
portion of the township. After a long legal battle, the courts ruled 
the election illegal, as only 43 votes were cast, which was not a 
majority of the legal voters of the township. Therefore, no money 
was ever paid on the railroad. 

The first school, opposite Alonzo Golder's residence, was built 
in 1856. It was blown to fragments in the tornado of June 3, 1860. 
This storm did a lot of damage in the township. 

The school was rebuilt and named Colder School, later being 
called Excelsior. There were six other schools in the township. 
Alpress, Banes, Elmendorf, McWhorter, Sturtz, and Swan Lake. 
The first five were named for pioneers of the area. Swan Lake, the 
last to be organized was the first school to close. These schools 
have been consolidated and all students now attend Montmorency 

Colder Road was the first graveled road in the township and in 
the 1920's, became the first paved road south from Rock Falls, be- 
coming Route 88. Buell Road, McNeil Road and Thome Road are all 
named for early settlers . 

Asa Scott came to the township in 1847, Robert McNeil in 1849, 
Tyler McWhorter in 1854, Alonzo Colder in 1856-. C.C. Buell set- 
tled here after serving in the Civil War. The Yeoward addition, east 
of Rock Falls, is named for the Yeoward family, many who still 
reside in this area. Jacob Lauff, aged 84, is the oldest man in the 
township. Henry Deitz has the longest residence, having been born 
in the township 81 years ago. 

The most famous man of today, who resides in the Montmorency 
area, is Woodrow Wilson King, known to most people as "Sid". 
Wilson is the son of a former mayor of Rock Falls, David King. He 
has engaged in farming since the 1930 's and now owns and operates 
Kinglore Farms, Inc. He breeds registered Angus cattle. "Sid" 
married the former Lorraine Oilman and they have three sons. 

He served as a member of the Livestock and Nutrition Seminar 
at the Milan International Trade Fair at Milan, Italy in 1965, under 
the Foreign Agricultural Service of the United States Department of 
Agricultural. At present, he is serving on the President's National 
Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty. This group has no connec- 
tion with the Federal Government, but has been commissioned to 
make a detailed study of how the migration of rural people to big 
cities can be slowed or reversed. The problems of these migratory 
people in the big cities are compounded by their lack of education 
and/or job training. The Commission has been holding hearings 
over the United States and with their staff of 10 men, on leave from 
various universities, will study the testimony and prepare a recom- 
mendation for the President by September of this year. Mr. King 
served as chairman of the public hearings that were held in Wash- 
inton, D.C., this past February. He is the only farmer on the 
Commission. Governor Breathitt of Kentucky, is the chairman of 
the Commission. 

Grennan is another name which has long been famous south of 
Rock Falls. Michael Grennan was an early Montmorency farmer 
and his grandaughter. Miss Jaqueline (formerly Jean) Grennan, 
daughter of the Edward W. Grennans, has become a well-known 
personage in our day. Jean joined the Sisters of Loretto in 1948 
where she obtained her educational degree. After years of service, 
she became President of Webster College, Webster Grove, Mis- 
souri, one of the nation's leading liberal arts colleges for women, 
in 1960. This year, Miss Grennan was released from her canonical 
vows as a nun, but continues as President of Webster College. 

She has served on the President's Advisory Panel on Research 
and Development in Education, under both President Kennedy and 
President Johnson. She helped organize the poverty programs 
"Operation Headstart", a program to bring education of underpriv- 
ileged children up to the level of others their age, so when they 
start to school, they will have the same measure of intelligence as 
their peers. 

Miss Grennan is a frequent visitor at her parents farm, which 
is located in the Swan Lake area of the township. 


Although Hume Township is not geographically adjacent to Colo- 
ma, as is Montmorency, it is still a close neighbor and calls Rock 
Falls its post office and is in the Rock Falls High School District. 

Hume was organized in 1857, having been attached to Hopkins 
and Prophetstown Townships for judicial purposes prior to that 
time. The first settler in the township was Leonard Morse, who 
came from Lee County in 1836. The next settler was Uriah Wood 
who came in 1839. 

Previous to 1840, DavidRamsey and Charles Wright settled here. 

A post office was established at South Hume in 1874, but was 
discontinued after two years. 

The six township schools have been consolidated so the pupils 
now attend either Crestview School or Riverdale in Coloma Township. 

The first traveled road in the township was an old stage coach 
route from Chicago to Rock Island. This is now a blacktopped road 
and commonly known as Prophetstown Road. It is heavily traveled, 
with many homes other than farm homes located along its length. 

Familiar names from this area as listed in an 1877 atlas are: 
Fluck, Gaulrapp, Cleaveland, Cunniff, Doyle, Vock, Conboy, Stur-- 
tevant, McKenzie, Sears and Wilkinson. 


Floor Covering 

MAin 5-4707 

Carpets - Linoleum - Ceramic 





Bill Martins 
Wrecker Service 


Phone: 625-3390 
Night Phone: 626-3875 

Route 30 & 4th Ave., Rock Falls, Illinois 

42 Years of the 100 Year Celebration 

Congratulations on the Centennial 

and for years to come 

Moulton Drug Store 


A Walgreen Agency Store 
117 West Second Street ROCK FALLS, ILLINOIS 

A. P. Smith came west to Illinois in 1856 and settled in the com- 
munity of Sterling. Mr. Smith was an intelligent and foresighted 
man, though not a wealthy one. As he looked across the Rock River, 
he visioned an Industrial City beyond the dreams of anyone in the 
community. His vision was to build an industrial town. 

Water rights had been purchased from Edward Atkins, one of 
the original settlers of Rapids City by the Sterling Hydraulic Co., 
who in turn built a dam across the river. In 1867, Mr. Smith pur- 
chased a half interest in the power plant and 45 acres of land. This 
was the beginning of making his dream come true. His plans called 
for a mill race to be built. However, in order to do this, he needed 
more land. Most of the land next to the river belonged to a Boston 
millionaire, AbnerMerrill (perhaps related to Isaac and Noah). Mr. 
Smith approached Mr. Merrill with his plan, and Mr. Merrill told 
him if he built the race and got at least three factories of not less 
than $10, 000 capital each, he would deed him the 20 acres along the 

The mitten (octory built in 1869, now the 1.0.0. F Hall 

Mr. Smith, having a great deal of experience in the manufactur- 
ing of mittens, built a mitten factory in 1869. Water power was not 
needed for this, so he built it on what is now East Third Street. It 
was a large three story building and was built at a cost of $4,000. 
In 1875, the business was operated by Phelps Brothers and in 1877 
by Hubbard, Ward and Clark. Mr. H.P. Price was the cutter during 
these various changes of ownership. The business was in operation 
about eight months of the year, with as many as 80 employees, 
mostly women, during the busy season. They made mittens and 
gloves of sheepskin, tanned with or without the wool, calf skins and 
other varieties. The building was used for school purposes at times 
and was eventually sold to the I.O.O. F. for their Odd Fellows Hall 
and is still in use today. 

Mr. Smith got busy and induced Gait and Tracy, whose factory 
had recently been destroyed by fire in Sterling, to move to the south 
side of the river. 

Mr. Smith got a party by the name of Parks, to build a paper 
mill and he and a partner built a grist mill. He now had three fac- 
tories. The mill race was built at a cost of $20, 000 with an entrance 
for water just above the dam. He contacted Mr. Merrill, who kept 
his promise and deeded him 20 to 25 acres. The old plat book of 1877 
shows Mr. Merrill owning 150 acres south of the original town and 
the majority of the deeds for property in the town of Rock Falls show 
either Merrill Addition or "Merrill and Hapgood" Additions on their 

Mr. Smith now hired John Arey, Deacon Arey's son, to lay out 
the town. The original town covered the area from the railroad 
tracks, west to about 5th Avenue and from the river south to about 
West 5th Street, and to the Dixon Road on the east end. 

By 1871, the Gait and Tracy factory became the Keystone Mfg. 
Co. and by 1877 had grown to such an extent that it required ten 
buildings. They manufactured corn planters, sulky rakes, cider 
mills, corn shellers, stalk cutters and seed sowers in their early 
days. After the death of Mr. Tracy, several changes occurred and 
the company was purchased by the International Harvester Company 
before 1908. They continued the manufacturing of farm equipment 
for many years. Several fires damaged their plant, but they always 

River Street, now West 1st St, showing port of old Keystone Buildings 

rebuilt. A particularly disastrous one occurred in 1947. Gradually, 
in the 1950's, as the buildings became older and more obsolete, 
operations were cut from three shifts down to one and finally in 
1961, operations were suspended entirely. Employees with suffi- 
cient tenure could either go to the works in Moline, Canton or Chi- 
cago, and those near retirement age could retire with pension. It 
was quite a blow to the economy of Rock Falls when this big industry 
decided to move out. Various parts of the old Keystone Works are 
now occupied by several different businesses. 

The Eureka Manufacturing Co. was organized in 1871 with a 
capitolstock of$50,000. ThomasA. Gait was president;M.A. Bunn, 
vice president; J. G. Crawford, secretary; and Alexander McCloy, 

By 1887, it was incorporated and some of the first products were 
school desks, teacher's desks, chairs and portable blackboards. It 
also manufactured cane bottom chairs; office, hotel and church fur- 
niture; a road grader; stalk cutter; check rower and the Becker 
brush grain cleaner. Later, they built mail-delivery carts for the 
government. By 1908, the Eureka was listed as the largest of the 
five carriage builders in the two cities . Carriages were shipped as 
far as Argentina, Mexico and Cuba. They made fringed surreys, 
buggies, breaking carts, road carts, buckboards and spring wagons 

JUailll .^ lIlMr 


WHIl I>oi»l>i»- Crtiu' s..«t & tt««4 



The Ma Manufactiiriiig Compaiiy. 


WV >l», malt, Ik- 

■vjpeka Melioet Heal wmk B«ak» 

We're M 100 Years Old, But . . . 

;Established 1945) 


lAuto Loansi 

Home Purchasing Loans 

Home Improvement Loans 

Savings & Checking Accounts 


•Customer Parking^^^H 

Continuous 24-Hour 
Envelope Deposit Service 

2 Convenient Drive-in Windows 
For Auto Banking 


iRocK Falls 





"The bank with the revolving time 
and temperature" 


at various times in their history. With the advent of the motor dri- 
ven vehicle in 1910, the company turned to the building of hearses 
and ambulances, mounted on passenger car chassis. 

During Wcjrld War I, government contracts were filled to supply 
horse drawn carts to be used in combat. During World War n, they 
supplied the government with buses, ambulances and turret blankets. 

In 1891, Hunter H. Wood joined the firm as a bookkeeper and 
eventually he acquired controlling interest in the firm. Upon his 
death in 1953, the Eureka Co., was sold to Wilbur Myers, who had 
joined the firm as a body builder in 1921. In 1926, Mr. Myers ob- 
tained a patent for his table-design, sideloading hearse. Later the 
three-way loading design was used and the Eureka was granted ex- 
clusive rights to build this design for ten years. Mr. Myers' son, 
Leland, was vice-president of the company. During 1965, after 94 
years of business in the same location, the owners decided to dis- 
continue operation. At present, part of the building is occupied by 
Hampton Construction Co. as offices and warehouse. 

Paper Mill as it looked on the River Bonk 

Feeling the need of a building in which small manufacturers 
could begin without an investment in a building, Mr. Smith organ- 
ized a company to build the Industrial Building in 1872. It was built 
along the river just east of the Parks Paper Mill. It was a substan- 
tial brick and stone building of two stories. It was separated by 
fireproof walls into 6 divisions, each occupied by a different indus- 
try. This building has had a long and varied history and is still 
standing, being the building recently occupied by the Flexonics Co. 

In thel870's, it was occupied at various times by the Rock Falls 
Mfg. Co., The Whiteside Time, The Utility Works, Keystone Bur- 
ial Case Co., John Wood and Co., E.G. Palmer, Industrial Mfg. 
Co., Rock Falls Progress and others. 

The Utility Works was owned by A. P. Smith, but was soon sold 
out to J. A. Patterson. They manufactured a large variety of items, 
such as portable tables, ironing boards, cutting boards, A. Fas sets 
washing machine and Sterling corn planters . 

The Rock Falls Manufacturing Co. began business in Room#l of 
the building. It was a successor to the Keystone Burial Case Co. 
and manufactured coffins and burial cases. 

John Wood and Co. were successors to the Union Manufacturing 
Co. and made the celebrated Rock Falls Wagon. 

In 1893, the Industrial Building was sold to the Lawrence Bro- 
thers. This company was organized in 1876, with the invention and 
manufacturing of barb wire. The business was begun in Sterling but 
with the need for more space, the move to Rock Falls was made. 
In 1878, the company invented a steel door hanger and steel track 
for hanging barn and garage doors. They then began manufacturing 
door hinges and other builder's hardware. They continued opera- 
tions in Rock Falls until 1913, at which time they built anew factory 
and returned to Sterling. But Lawrence Brothers is now back on the 
south side of the river with a new warehouse and shipping facility 
being built on Route 30 east of town. 

Since the Lawrence Brothers left the Industrial Building in 1913, 
it has been occupied by various businesses. It was occupied by the 
Fort Dearborn Co . This company was incorporated in 1895 and man- 
ufactured dies and tools and special machinery. Neil Saunders was 
the president. 

The Flexonics Corporation then purchased the building. They 

manufactured flexible hose. They were in operation here until the 
early 1960's. 

Phelps and Dyer also occupied the Industrial Building at one 
time. They manufactured three styles of corn planters, the Cham- 
pion Harrow and the Uphams reversible smoothing harrow. 

The Enterprise Works was established by H.F. Batcheller and 
Son. Mr. Batcheller had invented and received a patent on a hand 
com planter in 1859 and began manufacturing them on his farm by 
hand. His business grew to such degree, that in 1873 he built a 
building on River Street to house his plant. The plant also made 
butter churns, cheese boxes, step ladders, harrows, windmills and 
did planning and sawing of all kinds . The factory occupied 3 lots 
and operated for quite a number of years before being destroyed by 

The Globe Mills, operated by Jacob Zollinger, along with other 
partners in its years of operation, was located on the race along 
River Street. It opened in 1872 and specialized in corn meal. It 
shipped as many as 30 tons of flour, meal and feed weekly. 

The first paper mill was built by E.G.W. Parks in 1869. It oc- 
cupied the site that the old Sanger and Nichols Store had stood on in 
the days of Rapids City. Mr. Parks took in a partner in the early 
1870's and it became known as the Parks and Johnson Paper Mill. 
Mr. Johnson eventually became sole proprietor and later sold the 
lot and building to Keystone Co., moving the paper making mach- 
inery to Lyndon. 

In 1882, E.L. Church, Henry Utley and J. A. Patterson built 
another paper mill. These gentlemen had built and operated a mill 
inSterling and then sold it to Dwight Brothers and took the proceeds 
and came to Rock Falls and built a new plant. On January 27, 1891, 
the bleach exploded, wrecking the mill and killing four men. The 
men killed were: John Meyer, Oliver Miller, Samuel Schrader and 
William Bell. There was some thought that the explosion of the 
bleach was a result of sabotage, but it was never proved. 

Paper Mill after exp 

W.W. Davis' history of Whiteside County in 1908 lists the paper 
mill as being the Illinois Straw Products Company and an even later 
name is given as the Illinois Strawboard and Paper Corporation. It 
was located along the race at the foot of Fourth Avenue, with ware- 
houses along West Second Street. In the early 1900's, it employed 
as many as 75 men and they were using 11-1/2 tons of straw daily 
in making manila, rag and straw wrapping paper. Besides straw, 
21 tons of paper stock was used daily and the mill operated day and 
night. Schultz Brothers were the operators at one time. The com- 
pany went out of existence in 1928, apparently bankrupt. 

The Northwestern Barb Wire Company was organized by Wash- 
inton Dillon, father of Paul Dillon, in 1879. It hadcapitol of $10,000 
and it was located adjacent to the old mill race. Barb wire was new 
at that time and was much in demand in the open plains states . 

By 1892, the Dillon-Griswold partnership was formed for the 
purpose of manufacturing bale ties in Sterling, while Dillon manu- 
factured nails in Rock Falls along with the barbed wire. 

Following Mr. Griswold's death in 1902, a series of business 
transactions took place. By 1912, Washington Dillon owned the com- 
pany and moved the Rock Falls plant to Sterling. At this time, his 
son, Paul W. Dillon assumed the responsibility. 

The Evan Reed Manufacturing Co. occupied the old stone mill of 
old Dillon Milling Works in 1908. They made rat and mouse traps, 
racks, cracker box covers and automatic pulleys. 

Happy Birthday Rock Falls 









Electric Co., Inc. 

Canton, Illinois 


Expert Brake Adjustment 

Brake Safer and 


Brake & Front-End Value 

220 East Third, Ste. 
Bob Long - Mgr 
Here' what we do. ..Remove front 66 rear wheels, adjust 
brakes, clean and repack front wheel bearings, inspect 
grease seals, add brake fluid if needed (no extra charge), 
test brakes... all at this low, low price. 

Better wear, better safety 

Adjust brakes, add brake fluid and test Repack front 
wheel bearings. Align front-end, correct camber, caster 
and toe-in. Balance both front wheels. Rotate all four 
wheels. Service-up now.. .easy terms. 

Throughout the years, the company has experienced a large 
growth, until at this time, it stretches along the north bank of the 
Rock River for over a mile. There are over 3,000 employees and 
many of those are residents of Rock Falls. Through the years, the 
Northwestern Steel and Wire Company has played a very important 
part in the economy, not only of Sterling but also of Rock Falls. 

In the late 1890's, Mr. Anthony Corcoran, then of Morrison, in- 
vented a machine to make butter tubs. He then came to Rock Falls 
and had a factory along the river bank behind the Industrial Building. 
His family received royalties on this invention for many years. 

From 1921 until 1933, C.W. Mott had a factory behind his re- 
sidence at 303 Dixon Avenue. He began by manufacturing butter 
churns. Then he designed a line of toys for Rich Bros, of Sterling 
and began manufacturing the wooden wheels for these toys . This 
later branched out into all types of wood turning. 

In 1926, Edwin Berge, professor of music in Rock Falls and 
Sterling schools, felt he could teach large classes of students on 
string instruments if he had some kind of cheap instrument on which 
to teach them bowing and fingering. He contacted Mr. Mott and he 
designed an inexpensive instrument which had a good tone and the 
exact bridge, string, fingerboard and peg dimensions as a violin. 
It was called a "Fiddlette" and eventually a whole group of instru- 
ments -the violaette, celloette and bassette - were developed. Pro- 
duction continued good until the depression in 1929, when the Fid- 
dlette customers were the first to lose their jobs. 

The wood turning business continued prosperously and was en- 
larged into novelty furniture, samples of which may still be seen in 
local homes. All through the depression business was good and 
while the large manufacturing plants were working as little as two 
days a week, the Mott plant was working 24 hours a day and reached 
a peak of 68 employees. With the advent of the N.R.A. in 1933, the 
plant was closed. Mr. Mott now lives in Missouri. 


Bolts and nuts made in a primitive shop in Connecticut back in 
1845, held together some of the first prairie schooners that pushed 
westward through this area. By 1907, the same company that made 
those fasteners, was putting down roots in Rock Falls, and the Rock 
Falls plant has proved to be one of the most versatile of RB&W's 
facilities. Its output during the early years, went mostly to the 
equipment demands of a burgeoning agricultural industry. By the 
time Henry Ford unhorsed the buggy, RB&W's Rock Falls facility 
was already in an ideal location to serve the growing automobile 
industry. Millions of parts yearly, go into the more than 8 million 
copies of the family car, the tractors and even the more modern 
gadgets, like the gasoline-powered snow blower. 

RB&Wis one of the world's oldest and largest fastener manufac- 
turers. It started in a rented room of a button works in Pember- 
wick, Connecticut, owned by the brother-in-law of one of the found- 
ers, EUwood Burdsall. Here, William E. Ward andBurdsall started 
manufacturing wood screws and the business prospered for awhile, 
until a superior product was introduced by another firm. This ended 
the manufacture of wood screws for the two partners and they had 
to find another product to keep the business going. Their answer 
came from a New York stove manufacturer, who suggested that 
iron bolts, if fitted with nuts, could be used to put his product to- 
gether. Ward, the mechanical genius of the partnership, immedi- 
ately began designing and building machines to make the new fasten- 
ers. Soon, the little plant was putting on the market, the first stove 
bolts and nuts ever made. Business was good andBurdsall was able 
to give up his $600-per-year bookkeeping job which had provided the 
capital which had kept the business going. In 1851, the brother-in- 
law who owned the button works, Isaac Russell, joined the firm, 
and it then became Russell, Burdsall & Ward. 

Determined to improve on the old and cumbersome process of 
hot forging bolts by hammer and anvil. Ward had, by 1850, design- 
ed, built, and patented the world's first automatic cold heading 
machine, a device that rocketed the young firm to a position of 
leadership. From that time on, nearly all of the early bolt and nut 
making devices were the products of Ward's fertile and ingenious 
mind. Even some of today's elaborate cold heading machines still 
contain some of the basic principles of Ward's inventions. The com- 
pany also designed machines as amazing as their bolt-making broth- 
ers for the production of nuts. The milestones of progress in the 
days of the fastener industry were nearly always Ward-invented 

machines. Following the first cold-header. Ward built a machine 
for making carriage bolts with a square section under the head that 
prevented the bolt from turning when the nut was applied. His in- 
ventiveness was not confined to the fastener industry, however, for 
he is also credited with the steam-driven plow, the lawn mower and 
reinforced concrete. 

The Port Chester Bolt and Nut Company was organized in 1882, 
and, by 1901, the Pemberwick and Port Chester plants had consol- 
idated under the name of Russell, Burdsall &Ward Bolt and Nut Co. 
All of the original partners had previously passed away, but William 
E. Ward, son of William L. Ward, was elected president of the new 
company, and Richard and EUwood Burdsall, Jr., were treasurer 
and secretary, respectively. Today, the fourth generation - William 
E. Ward, President and Robert Burdsall, Vice President and Sec- 
retary - carry on the family business and traditions. The Russells 
were never active in the company and their interest was purchased 
in 1910. 

The Rock Falls plant was acquired in 1907 as a base to serve 
the rapidly growing agricultural industry. The original building was 
purchased from Cobb & Drew and was located on property leased 
from the CB&Q Railroad Company. The Cobb & Drew Company, 
also fastener manufacturers, had originally been located in the old 
Keystone Building, but later moved their operations to the site which 
was subsequently purchased from them by RB&W. In 1909, RB&W 
purchased the ground on which the buildings were located from the 
CB&Q (the property between Avenue A and the CB&Q main track to 
Sterling), and, in 1910, started expanding operations - which it has 
done 12 times since, reaffirming the wisdom and foresight of the 
company in choosing this site as its first venture in branch plant 

To continue with company history, the third branch plant was 
built at Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Completed in 1928, it is devoted 
exclusively to the manufacture of nuts. In 1946, the Los Angeles 
plant was acquired and the principle product of this plant at first 
was "Cap Screws", but it has since broadened its line of fasteners. 

In the 1950 's, the decision was made to diversify, and a tube 
plant was purchased in Livonia, Michigan. Here, seamless metal 
tubing is fabricated for automotive components, such as exhaust 
systems. RB&W began experimenting with sintered or powdered, 
metal fabricating in the late 1950's, set up aseparate divisionwith- 
in its Port Chester plant for the development and marketing of pow- 
dered metal products, and, through the purchase of a powdered 
metal plant in Coldwater, Michigan, in 1965, obtained a home for 
this division. A plastics plant in Hialeah, Florida, was purchased 
in 1962, and the growth of the plastics industry has necessitated the 
expansion of this subsidiary. Completion of a new plant is expected 
in 1967. 

Returning to the Rock Falls plant and its history, upon purchase 
Cobb & Drew, RB&W named A.N. Bradford as the manager, and he 
continued in this capacity until his death in 1933. The factory had a 
total area of 43,600 square feet, and consisted of two buildings 
when Mr. Bradford assumed managership. The first major expan- 
sion took place in 1910, after purchase of the property from the 
CB&Q, and added 94,000 square feet. It was not long until it was 
apparent that more property would eventually be needed and the 
tract of land east of the CB&Q main line was obtained from the 
Sterling Hydraulic Company and other property owners. The land 
was acquired in 1913, but it was not until 1923, that another major 
expansion took place which added more than 96, 000 square feet. By 
1927, 20 years after the original purchase, theRock Falls plant had 
more than 256,000 square feet of manufacturing space, or almost 
six times the original area. Further e.xpansions through the latest 
in 1965, have increased this to 515,000 square feet, or almost 12 
acres under roof. 

After the death of Mr. Bradford in 1933, Foster Fike was named 
plant manager, and served until his retirement in 1954. Serving 
under both plant managers as plant superintendent, was Bill Hill, 
Sr., who had been with Cobb & Drew at the time ownership was 
transferred to RB&W, and who retired in 1954, also. William Hoof- 
stitler was the next manager, but only briefly, since he retired in 
1955. He was succeeded by Lambert M. Kaspers, who was trans- 
ferred to the Port Chester plant in 1959, at which time the current 
plant manager, George Nieman was named. 






"Oliver" finest in 
farm equipment 

Phone 625-0611 
ROUTE 88 & 30 Rock Falls, Illinois 


, The Friendly Sfore 

Paints - Hardware - Furniture 

Large & Small 


211 1st Ave. 

Welcome to Rock Falls 100th Birthday Celebration 

Compliments of 

Disco Food Center 


On Premises Bakery 


Laundry Facilities 

Norge Coin Operated Dry Cleaning 

Free Spacious 200 Car Parking Lot 

Independently Owned 

1100 1ST AVENUE 


other names associated with the first years of RB&W in Rock 
Falls and their length of service with the company are: John Broth- 
eridge, 1907-55;Arthur Deem, 1907-49; W.H. Hess, 1907-47; Au- 
gust Hoover, 1907-49; William O'Hare, 1907-48; Claude Stoner, 
1907-49; C.C. Kadel, 1909-49; Steve Runly, 1909-47; Paul Gronis, 
1910-52; Frank Barrus, 1911-47; John Schmitt, 1911-54; David 
Sheely, 1911-54; George Van Home, 1911-48; Carl Lundquist, 
1912-49; Frank Ruth, 1912-53; Harry Von Bergen, 1912-55; Ray O. 
Oilman, 1914-62; Clare Huber, 1914-57; Ernest Topping, 1915-45; 
Albert Breiding, 1916-63; Dallas Drynan, 1916-54; Harry Figeley, 
1916-54; Leslie Lansford, 1916-1964; George Brown, 1918-49; 
George Davis, Sr., 1918-54; Clarence Hinds, 1918-63;Ralph Hoek, 
1918-53; A.H. Hussung, 1918-1959; William Lutyeus, 1918-(still 
actively employed); Joseph Glynn, 1919-65; Percy Howard, 1919-58; 
Harm Lutyens, 1919-64; Dilwyn Batcheller, 1920-66; Bill George, 
1920-55; Frank Gray, 1920-58; Joseph Huntley, 1920-(still actively 
employed); Warren Imler, 1920-52; Arthur Shoemaker, 1920-53. 


The Parrish-Alford Fence and Machine Co., Inc., came to 
Rock Falls in the mid-30's. It was founded in Knightstown, Indiana 
and purchased by the Northwestern Steel and Wire in 1930 and 
moved to Rock Falls. Its product was and is fencing, though since 
1945, Northwestern Steel and Wire Co. has diversified and expand- 
ed the products manufactured. Its products now include: highway 
reinforcing mats, reinforcing mesh, welded fabric, ornamental 
lawn fence, gates, welded hardware cloth, plastic coated color 
guard fence, plastic coated tot and lot fence, electro-galvanized 
pump rods, stone wire, stovepipe wire, fence stretchers. Officers 
of the company are: President, W.M. Dillon, Vice President, J. W. 
Bowman; Secretary, S.V. Hitchcock; Treasurer, D.F. Laughlin; 
Factory Superintendent, C.V. Robinson. 


The Larson Company had its beginning in 1920, in a building 
neighboring on the west of Bander's Machine Shop. The equipment 
was later moved to a building adjoining Wahl Clipper Corporation 
on East Third Street. By 1923, they occupied a building on Avenue 
G where they remained for 33 years. In 1956, the new plant was 
built on Route 30, two miles east of Route 88. 

The company is closely tied to local industry for supplies as 
well as customers. Their products have changed with the times 
and demands of the changing people. Their light hardware was re- 
placed by heavy steel to supply materials for the modern new 

The Larson Company was a pioneer in their own right when it 
came to a safety program. They held periodic safety meetings be- 
fore the National Safety Council was even established, of which 
Larsons is a charter member. They have won safety awards in 
nationwide "no-accident contests", which enables its employees 
to enjoy insurance and hospitalization plans. 

The factory is one of the few in the area who have no records 
of lay-off, due mainly to its close relation with local industry. 

Some of the newer industries in Rock Falls include the Hill 
Fastener Corporation, located on McNeill Road. It was founded 
inl957by W.E. Hill, Jr. and J.R. Hill, who is deceased. The 
factory produces small bolts and nuts, but its primary product is 
special fasteners of various designs. The plant employs approxi- 
mately 31 people. 

Videocraft, whose home office is in Chicago, came to Rock 
Falls in 1966, occupying a part of the old International Harvester 
buildings on West Second Street. This plant makes component parts 
for television sets and employs about 130 persons. Mr. Leo Thomp- 
son is the plant manager. 

Frazer Manufacturing Corporation is located in Rock Falls' 
new Industrial Park on East Eleventh Street. Owned by Mr. Charles 
Frazer, it manufactures electrical fence posts and wire. It em- 
ploys 6 or 7 persons. 

The Sterling Alloy Casting Corporation is located at 102 First 
Avenue in what was a part of the old Keystone works . The plant 
makes gray iron and semi-steel castings for industry throughout 
the Middle West. Mr. Claude Robinson is the executive vice-pres- 
ident and manager. 

Sedcon, Inc., is managed by James N. McNich, and is located 
on Route 30, east of Rock Falls. They produce Sterling Electric 
Door Controls for garage, factory or warehouse use. 

Rock Falls is growing and will continue to grow because of the 
industrial potential of our area. One of the things which will make 
for the future development of our area is the Industrial Develop- 
ment Committee, headed by Orvel DeWeerth, who in co-operation 
with the city council, is helping develop the Industrial Park so it 
will be used to establish new industries in our area. With this area 
set aside for development, it means the future of Rock Falls is 
secure for many years to come. The Industrial Park is located for 
rail - truck- air and if needed, water transportation, as it is near 
the canal, which helped our area in the years past. 


Geyer Manufacturing Company was organized by F.H. Geyer and 
his son Howard A. Geyer in 1918. The factory was started in a bam 
located on the lot south of the present post office and behind the 
residence occupied by the F.H. Geyer family. The company start- 
ed out by making four items of garden tools - a hoe, a rake and two 
styles of cultivators. 

In 1920, a fire, which completely demolished the barn and most 
of its contents, forced the company to move to its East Third Street 
location, where it built its first building. It continued expansion in 
this area until the plant's removal from the community in 1966. 

In 1933, Mr. F.H. Geyer died and Howard A. Geyer assumed 
the presidency. Under his leadership, the business continued to ex- 
pand until Geyer was able to offer the trade a complete line of what 
is known in the industry as "steel goods", ie: hoes, rakes, cultiva- 
tors, etc. 

In 1952, Geyer Manufacturing sold the assets of its drop forging 
division to Illinois Forge, Inc. , a newly formed company, organized 
specifically for the purpose of making drop forgings exclusively. 
This was desireable since the two businesses were oriented toward 
different sales efforts and really had nothing in common except 
management personnel. Mr. Geyer assumed the presidency of the 
new company also. 

In 1957, Geyer Manufacturing Company sold the remaining assets 
and all the garden tool business to the Wood Shovel and Tool Com- 
pany of Piqua, Ohio. This was a logical move, since neither made 
the type of tools manufactured by the other and yet all the major 
competing industries had both lines of steel goods and shovels. 

Woods continued to expand the lines and purchased one of the 
buildings abandoned by the International Harvester Company to bet- 
ter serve their customers. 

In 1965, Woods decided to sell their entire company to Bissell, 
Inc. of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was the feeling of the new owners 
that operations were spread too thin and so some Rock Falls pro- 
duction facilities were moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan and some 
to Piqua, Ohio, closing the Rock Falls operation entirely. 

As a matter of interest, it has been learned fairly recently, that 
Bissell has turned over the production facilities of the Wood Shovel 
&T00I Company to be run by the Union Fork and Hoe Company. 


S& K 

Clothing Store 

Men's Furnishings and Shoes 


Merchandise for Boys and the Young Man 


Best Wishes 


M. L. Humphrey 
Dale J. Humphrey 
Patricia A. Harmon 

207 First Avenue 

P.O. Box 147 



Usisbwdf Lumber (Jo. 

Cash & Carry 
Charge & Delivery 
Everything to Build with 



Call 625-0390 



Illinois Forge, Inc. was organized and incorporated in July, 
1952. When organized, this company purchased all of the equipment 
and assets of the drop forging division of Geyer Manufacturing Com- 
pany. The formation of the company was made necessary because 
of an increasing volume of forging business and the fact that there 
was not sufficient room for the expansion of facilities at the existing 
location. An area zoned for heavy industry and permitting plenty of 
room for expansion was found on East Route 30. 

The first building built at the present location was of mill type 
construction, covering 4,000 square feet of floor space and housed 
three drop hammers. Additions to the plant and equipment have been 
made almost every year since that time and the square footage of 
the manufacturing space is now about 50,000 square feet, with 
twelve drop hammers up to 3000# ram weight, along with the neces- 
sary auxiliary equipment to produce forgings. Employment has in- 
creased from 30 employees in 1952 to 125 at present. 

Illinois Forge, Inc. is a producer of custom made, commercial 
drop forgings. There is no product line, as such, but each forging 
is made to a specific customer specification, both as to material 
and dimentional requirements. All forgings produced are made from 
Carbon and Alloy steel. No non-ferrous metals are forged. Forg- 
ings range in size from a few ounces to ten or twelve pounds. 

The company does no machining or finishing of forgings at pre- 
sent. After being made, the scale is removed from the surface by 
a "shot-blasting" operation. They are then shipped to the customer 
in this condition or they maybe sized or coined to within a few thou- 
sandths tolerance in a coining press, if the customer so specifies. 

Present officers of the company are: Kief fer Wenger, president; 
Harold Eshleman, vice-president sales and secretary; Don L. 
Fades, vice president production and John E. Wenger, treasurer. 

On September I, 1952, Glenna entered the Miss America pageant 
in Atlantic City, N.J. She appeared in the traditional bathing suit, 
formal and talent displays. Her flute selections were "Pan" and 
"Indian Love Call". Deems Taylor, a judge at the contest, praised 
her for her musical talent, but she didn't receive the title. 

Following the contest, Glenna returned to her studies at North- 
western University, continuing in flute. She graduated with honors 
and proceeded to Columbia University for graduate in music. Here 
she met Alfred Fischer, who is now her husband. They live in New 
York City and are parents of two lovely children, Adam, who is 3, 
and Melissa, who is less than a year. Glenna takes time out from 
her family to keep up with her flute, piano and voice and reflects 
her adventures as Miss Illinois. 


Representing the state as well as our city, was Glenna Pohly, 
who became Miss Illinois In 1952. She had won the Miss Sterling 
pageant, sponsored by the Sterling Junior Chamber of Commerce, 
when she was 19 and a sophomore music student at Northwestern 
University. Considerations for the judging were based on natural 
beauty, poise, personality and talent. At this time, Glenna was5'2" 
tall and weighed all of 112 pounds. 

Glenna, during her years in Merrill school and Rock Falls High 
School, was always active in school affairs, as well as in herchurch 
and musical circles. She attained many honors with her musical 
talent on the flute and was also a talented pianist and vocalist. She 
graduated with honors from both grade and high school. She re- 
ceived the American Legion award upon graduation from Merrill 
school and was valedictorian of her high school class. She was the 
first student graduating who had had all A's on her report cards. 

Glenna entered the Miss Illinois beauty pageant at East St. Louis 
on May 17, 1952. She was one of 12 contestants from Alton, Bloom- 
inton, Carbondale, Champaign-Urbana, Decatur, East St. Louis, 
Harvey, Moline, Pontiac, Quad Cities and Quincey. Her talent and 
beauty excelled again and she was crowned Miss Illinois, spending 
the following summer making personal appearances at special oc- 
casions all over the state, as well as opening the Minneapolis Aqua- 

Glenna Pohly, Miss lllii 


Rock Falls Dairy 



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West on Route 30, Rock Falls Across From Jul's Farm 

W^"^^ "^' 


A. A. Thome & Frank Decker 

A history of Rock Falls, Illinois would be totally incomplete 
without the name Anthony A. Thome. It was men like "Tone" whose 
energy, devotion and spirit enabled Rock Falls to thrive and grow. 

Born in Jordon Township on January 1, 1864, Mr. Thome was 
raised and educated in Lee County. Life was not easy for anyone 
those days, and a young boy learned that early. A comforting home 
and sheltered school existence ceased for this lad at the age of 
thirteen when he was hired out for$5.00a month. In his own words: 
"I did as much work as the hired man, followed him around from 
morn 'til night on the plow, took care of the team, milked five cows, 
fed the pigs and chickens and then had to hold the baby." 

The long working hours and the tedious labor of the farmer held 
little reward for him; therefore, several years and many jobs later, 
found him in the blacksmith trade. One learned a trade by working 
at it. Thus, Anthony Thome prepared himself for his chosen pro- 
fession by working for Teach and Bracken; a second apprenticeship 
was served under John Adair. After a two year partnership with 
Adair in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Thome bought him out. Having "found 
himself", he built a shop of his own three years later. This was the 
famous smithy shop on First Avenue in Rock Falls which he oper- 
ated alone for five years. 

When his business was successfully established, Thome admitted 
John Decker to partnership. They would shoe many a horse in the 
course of a day. Payment ran as high as $2. 00 per horse until com- 
petition became so keen that it dropped to as low as 50^. This was 
due to the fact that at one time, there were 14 blacksmith shops in 

Sterling and 5 in Rock Falls. When the horse shoeing business began 
to diminish, the blacksmith sharpened plowshares. People came 
for many miles to have this work done. 

The old pump which stood outside the Thome and Decker Black- 
smith Shop was much used by the populace and came to be a land- 
mark in itself. 

Thome and Decker were in partnership for 51 years, one of the 
longest partnerships in the country. As Tone said, "We have been 
together for 51 years all told, with a fight, which I think is a pretty 
good record." After the death of Mr. Thome in 1951, Decker con- 
tinued the business until May of 1952. The building has since been 
remodeled and is still owned by Mr. Decker's son, Wilbur. 

Anthony Thome's personal life found him married to Miss Lily 
Johnson in 1888. To this union, six children were born: Mabel 
(Eakle), Roy, Clyde, Effie (Pollock), Anthony and Dora (Jacobs). 
His first wife psssed away in 1932 and he then married Miss Mary 
Metzger. Mr. Thome passed away at the age of 87. 

An asset to his community, Thome served on the school board 
for 12 years, holding the office of board president for one year. 
During that year, Thome School was built and named for him. His 
political career began as alderman for a four year term. This was 
followed by his election as mayor in 1907. Mayor Thome was re- 
elected three times to total fourteen years as mayor of Rock Falls . 
His greatest feat was the paving of the street and alleys of the city 
during his terms of office. 

1951 marked the death of A. A. Thome, but his many accom- 
plishments still live in the city of his pride - Rock Falls, Illinois. 

Sponsored by Orville Thome of Thomewoy Lines, Rock Falls, III . 


Nofthern Illinois Universay 

For nearly a century, architects, architectural hardware 
consultonts and builders at home and abroad have 
been selecting Lawrence Quality Hinges because of their 
high standard of excellence. 

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Individuals began our town, organized it, and have kept it going. 
They have organized groups that work in teams to better the city, 
but the drive and organization comes from a few people who need to 
be recognized, not only for a great achievement, but for being one 
of the forefathers of achievements that were yet to come. The fol- 
lowing biographical sketches will help highlight some of these indi- 
viduals who are responsible for our city. 


Isaac Merrill was the first settler in Coloma Township. He was 
a native of Connecticut and along with Edward Atkins, began the 
first settlement on this side of Rock River in 1837. In the same 
year, Noah Merrill settled here. November 6, 1838, a son was born 
to Noah. Nelson B is believed to be the first white child in Coloma 
Township. Isaac Merrill was a farmer and a shoemaker and also 
an adventurer, because he sold his claim in 1849 to continue west 
to California. 

Noah Merrill built a cabin 12 x 15 feet, which was covered with 
bark and had a puncheon floor. He and his family first lived with 
Dan Brooks, residing in the portion of Rock Falls known as "Gopher 
Town" during the 1870 's. ("Gopher Town" was the southwest part 
of Rock Falls, taking in the territory now between 10th Avenue and 
11th Avenue and from West 5th Street to about 7th or 8th Street.) 

The united families numbered 11, one bed and the floor furnish- 
ed sleeping quarters for all. The women were sisters, so the fam- 
ilies lived on peaceable terms. 

In 1838, Noah Merrill settled his family in their own cabin op- 
posite Eagle Island and broke several acres of prairie. This same 
land was claimed by Elijah Worthington of Harrisburg. He having 
made his claim by plowing around the land. The "Anti-Claim Jum- 
pers Association", on the north side of the river, through a com- 
mittee, notified Mr. Merrill he must abandon his claim, under 
penaltyof having his familyand his possessions thrown in the river. 
Mr. Merrill decided to resist this threat and in company with Mr. 
Brooks, they secured arms to await the visitors who did not show up. 

Mr. Merrill later sold his claim and in 1850, went to Califor- 
nia, where he suffered great hardships. After four years, he re- 
turned to Illinois. He settled in Sterling where he passed away 
December 22, 1873. He had three children other than Nelson, who 
was born here. 

Truman Culver 

Truman Culver, for whom Culver Street was named, was bom 
in Booneville, N. Y. , September 9, 1835. Due to his having asthma, 
he was unable to attend school until he was 14 .years old. But he 
advanced so fast in his education, that at the age of 17, he began to 
teach school. From the age of 22 to 24, he attended college in the 
winter and did manual labor the rest of the year. 

He next went to Pikes Peak to dig for gold, but was not success- 
ful. After remaining there a month, in company with three others, 
he made two canoes from cottonwood, lashed them together to keep 
them from rocking while on the water and started from Denver 
(which at that time had only 7 sod houses) down the Platte River to 
Omaha. But after going about 150 miles, they came to grief by the 
upsetting of their craft in a whirlpool caused by a beaver dam. They 
lost everything except a part of a sack of flour. They made a fire 
on the bank, rolled their rescued flour, which had become wet in 
the accident, into balls and roasted them in the coals for their 
bread, which they stored in a small sack. They started on foot and 
subsisted on these bread balls two days, when they met an old trap- 
per, from whom they purchased an old coffee pot, without spout, 
handle or bail for $4.50. In this, they made a gruel out of the dry 
portion of the balance of their flour, which lasted them about a 

After their gruel was gone, they barely subsisted for many days 
on cactus, weeds and grass and 5 frogs. One night, Mr. Culver 
heard his two companions plotting to kill and eat him. He pretended 
he heard some frogs which he went to look for and thus disappeared 
from those fellows. He soon fell in with a band of Indians who gave 
him "jerked" antelope. They refused money but did accept a bright 
colored tie. With this sustenance, Mr. Culver walked on for many 
days until he sank exhausted on the bank of the Platte. He wrote on 
an envelope, his address and a statement that he had starved to 

death, and there he lay insensible, he didn't know how long, when 
he was discovered by four men, in the first boat that ever succeed- 
ed in getting down the river. They took him aboard their boat and 
gave him broth and after a few days, he was strong enough to steer 
the boat. Their provisions, too, were soon exhausted and they had 
to search for something to eat. The best they could find was the 
carcass of a buffalo that had Iain so long as to become tainted, but 
they made it palatable by scorching it. A day or two after it gave 
out, they arrived at Fort Kearney, where they were cared for by the 
army surgeons. Mr. Culver found he weighed only a little over 100 
pounds, having lost about 70 pounds. 

Mr. Culver came to Whiteside County and worked on a farm near 
Morrison in 1861. He enlisted in the Union Army as a private and 
was under fire more than 100 times. At the battle of Gettysburg, 
he was wounded in the right ankle on the second day of the engage- 
ment, but he remained on duty to the close of that battle. He was 
honorably discharged in 1864 as a First Lieutenant. 

Mr. Culver was married to Miss Clarinda Allen on September 
5, 1865 in Morrison. He then came to Rock Falls and opened a gro- 
cery store, building the first new store building in Rock Falls on 
the corner of Main and May Streets. He then engaged in the boot and 
shoe business one door east. In 1898, Mr. Culver built the build- 
ing now occupied by Harting's Market. Truman Culver was the first 
postmaster in Rock Falls, taking that post on March 15, 1868 when 
the postoffice was established. 

Mr. and Mrs. Culver had but one child. Glen, who died at the 
age of five years. Mr. Culver passed away January 31, 1907. 

Augustus P. Smith 
Augustus P. Smith, Esq. was a native of Cobleskill, New York 
and was born February 2', 1831. In 1848, he went to New York City, 
where he resided two years and then became a resident of Cherry 
Valley, New York, where he also remained for two years. He then 
moved to Gloversville, New York, residing there until he moved to 
Sterling, Illinois in 1856. Mr. Smith was married to Miss Elvira J. 
Champlin at Goversville, April 14, 1855. To this union were born 
four daughters; Florence May in 1859, Mabel E. in 1861, Helen 
Marr in 1863 and Gertrude in 1868. Mr. Smith passed away on 
October 1, 1895, leaving his wife and one daughter, Helen Klinck 
to mourn his passing. The funeral services were held from the Rock 
Falls Methodist Church with the Congregational pastor. Rev. Fren- 
denhagen officiating. Flags were flown at half mast in both Rock 
Falls and Sterling. Mr. Joseph Wright wrote in 1927: "he was pain- 
fully impressed at the few that attended his funeral todo him honor". 
Although at one time he was a very wealthy man, he died virtually 
a pauper. He was buried in Riverside Cemetery. His wife passed 
away in December of 1899. 

Mr. Smith, while residing in Sterling, was a music teacher and 
directed the choir in the Congregational Church. Mr. Wright, who 
had many business dealings with him, stated "he was a man of more 
than ordinary ability, with a very pleasing manner and a fine musi- 

He built a fine home, Oaklawn, at what is now 704 East Second 
Street. The house is still standing and is now occupied by Mr. and 
Mrs. Ney Phillips. The first business he started was the Smith and 
Smith Flouring Mill, which burned down soon afterwards. In 1869, 
he also built the mitten factory. In 1872. he organized a company 
and built the Industrial Building. He established several other small 

Greetings & Compliments 



Serving This Community 
For 65 Years 

PHONE 625-0088 

Serving Rock Falls 
for 31 Years 



Phone 625-2034 





Phone 625-7575 

104 12th Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois 

manufacturing concerns, none of which he operated for very long. 
An 1877 city directory, shows him having a knitting mill over 
Chamberlins Jewelry Store, and also a real estate office from which 
he sold business and residential lots and hydraulic power. 

Almon Wheeler 

Almon Wheeler was born in West Moreland, N.H. in August, 
1813. He became a school teacher in that state, which occupation 
he followed until he came west. June 1, 1842, he was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Eliza Wellington. They came toniinois in the early 
1850's, making their home first in Belvidere and then in Cherry 
Valley, where he engaged in the lumber business. In 1873, they 
moved to Mendota and in 1867 to Rock Falls. In both places, he 
engaged again in the lumber business. His first business was on the 
sight of the old paper mill, then to the present site of the Johnston 
Lumber Co. He was instrumental in getting the railroad to Rock 
Falls. From 1873 through 1875, he was president of the board of 
the village of Rock Falls. 

He built a fine home on the site now occupied by the Rock Falls 
post office. Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler had three children, Frank Wel- 
lington, Susan, who married W.W. Brown and Jennie, who married 
F.H. Geyer. HowardGeyer of the Geyer Mfg. Co. was born in this 

Mrs. Wheeler passed away March 3, 1887 and Mr. Wheeler on 
June 28, 1892. They have many descendants in this area. 

F.W. Wheeler and W.W. Brown carried on this business which 
Almon had established. 

Augustus P. Smith 

Grove Wright 
Writer, teacher, nurseryman and poet, Grove Wright had his 
nursery. Maple Grove, north of what is now Dixon Avenue as far as 
Third Street. He made a specialty of fruit and greenhouse plants 
and had some $10,000 invested in this property. There was also a 
deposit of peroxide of iron or hemitite on this property. This min- 
eral was used In the manufacture of paint by the Sterling Mineral 
Paint Co. and the paint lasted so well, many railroads and manu- 
facturers used it across the country. One can still see traces of 
this mineral in the form of red deposits along the' river bank. 

Mr. Wright at one time taught at the Old Brick School (East 
Coloma). At a picnic held at this school in 1897, Mrs. Nancy Ma- 
comber read a poem of 26 stanzas which Mr. Wright had written. 
Two of the verses are: 

This is the lot, and this is the spot 

Assigned to education; 
And here was laid without parade, 
The old brick school foundation. 

Whate'er befalls, long may these walls, 
With reverence still impress you. 

Then will your years, have scanty tears, 
And Children's children bless you. 

Daniel F. Batcheller 
Daniel F. Batcheller was born in Bethel, Vermont, September 
8, 1803. In May of 1840, he came to this area and made a claim in 
Coloma. He had 6 children, among whom was Henry F. Batcheller, 
born in 1834. Henry invented and secured a patent on a hand com 
planter in 1858 and began manufacture of this planter, along with 
his father. The Sr. Batcheller retired in 1870 and in 1876, Henry's 
son, A.M., became a partner. They added the manufacturing of 
windmills, cheese boxes and did planing as well as all kinds of saw- 
ing. Their factory was on River St. , now First Street. In the 1870's 
he lived about a mile east ofR.F. and was supervisor of the town of 

Asa F.R. Emmons 

Asa F.R. Emmons was born in Kingston, Canada. His early 
years were passed in Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New York City. 
In the latter place, he worked at the carpenter's trade. 

On December 25, 1835, he was married to Elizabeth AnnBartlett 
in Pennsylvania. A daughter Harriet, who married a Mack, was 
born to this union on April 1, 1838. In 1839, he and his wife with all 
their earthly belongings, came to this area in a covered wagon. 
They settled in Harrisburg, later called Sterling, when there were 
only 4 houses in the town. He built the 5th, staking a claim in Co- 
loma Township in 1840 and moving there. The site was 2 miles east 
on the Dixon Road and there he built a small house. The sod was 
broken by the use of three pair of oxen. One man drove the oxen 
while the other held the plow. Com was taken to Peru, the nearest 
market and there exchanged for coal. Wheat was hauled to Chicago 
and sold for 25f a bushel. It took 5 days to come and go to market. 

His wife died July 21, 1842. He was married to Nancy A. Booth 
on January 31, 1842. To this union, 6 children were born. 

In 1846, Asa went to the land office in Dixon and bought the 15 
acres of land that he stocked out for $69.00. This land includes the 
present Riverview and part of the Geyer Farm. On February 2, 
1848, he sold the land to Eliphalet B. Worthington. In 1850, the 
land was sold at a sheriff's sale for $9.75. He then moved to Rapid 
City into a new home he had built, located at the corner of 5th Street 
and 9th Avenue. The house is still standing on the southeast comer. 

Mr. Emmons then entered a partnership with a Mr. Pierce. 
They were carpenters, building houses along with building and sel- 
ling furniture. Driving a team of horses and a wagon to Chicago, 
they camped along the trail side. The journey was made many times 
to purchase materials and items of furniture. 

Asa's wife, Nancy, chose a sewing basket and a rocking chair 
from the first two loads returned. These items are now in the pos- 
session of Mrs. Maruice (Alice) Wick, a great, great, granddaugh- 


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Asa was a tax collector in Rapids City in 1852 and was Rapid 
City's second postmaster. He took an active part in the early poli- 
tics ot both Rapid City and Rock Falls. With the co-operation of 
Almon Wheeler, Mr. Emmons was instrumental in securing the 
CB&Q railroad in Rock Falls. Asa died December 29, 1902, in 
Rock Falls and interment was made in the I.O.O. F. Cemetery. He 
was a member of the Rock Falls Methodist Church. 

In addition to Mrs. Wick, other descendents living in Rock Falls 
are Lloyd Emmons, a great grandson and Fred Johannsen, a great, 
great, grandson. 

L.H. Woodworth 
L.H. Woodworth was born in Norwich, Vermont, October 20, 
1806. He attended the military, scientific and literary school at 
Middletown, Conn. After completing his studies, he was a teacher 
in the Military School at Perth Amboy, N.J., afterwards being an 
assistant Professor of Mathematics in Jefferson College, Miss. He 
spent two years in the state of New York as resident engineer up on 
the Black River Canal. In the spring of 1839, he came west and 
settled at the Upper Rapids on the south side of Rock River where 
he bought the claim of Isaac Merrill. He had charge as engineer of 
the contract to build the canal around the rapids in the river. Mr. 
Woodworth divided part of his claim into lots, which are now apart 
of Rock Falls. He and Dan Brooks were the two first Justices of the 
Peace in Rapids Precinct. He was also a swamp land commissioner, 
a surveyor and supervisor. Two sons were born by his first mar- 
riage to Parmelia Parks; Leonard H., who in the 1870's, lived in 
Sterling and Geo. L. who was killed in the Civil War in 1852. He 
married Mrs. Alice Goodell in 1845 and to this union, Clarence and 
Alice were born. 

Joseph A. Bickford 

Joseph A. Bickford, founder of the Eureka Mfg. Co., was a 
native of Massachusetts. After engaging in manufacturing in Lock- 
port, N.Y. and Houghton, Mich., he came to Illinois in 1868 and 
settled in Rock Falls. He served as village trustee and also as 
township collector and assessor at different times . Mr. Bickford 
and his wife were parents of two children; a daughter, who died in 
infancy and Joseph M. 

Joseph M. became a pharmacist and entered into partnership 
with F. W. Wheeler and opened a drug store in Rock Falls in 1880. 
In 1882, he purchased Mr. Wheeler's interest and continued in bus- 
iness until 1902. He then sold the business. In 1903, he opened a 
drug store in Sterling which continued in operation until very re- 
cently. Joseph A. was one of the organizers of the Rock Falls Meth- 
odist Church and he and his wife and son lived on Gray Street just 
south of Main Street. The Sterling Drugstore stayed in the Bickford 
family through Dean and his son, Ned. 

Dr. John L. Morrill 
Dr. John L. Morrill came to Rock Falls to practice his profes- 
sion in 1867. He was born October 19, 1823 at Olean, N.Y. He 
practiced in Yorktown for eight years before coming to Rock Falls . 
He and his wife had two children and were members of the Meth- 
odist Church. They built a fine home onGroveSt. at the end of Elm, 
now 300 Fifth Avenue. 

Jeremiah V. McCarty 

Jeremiah V. McCarty was born June 22, 1842 in London, Eng- 
land. He came to America with his parents at the age of 8. The 
family settled in Whiteside County in 1857, living on a farm north- 
east of Round Grove. He enlisted in the army in 1861 at the outbreak 
of the Civil War and served three years, taking part in many major 
battles. He was fortunate, though, and was only hospitalized once. 

When mustered out of the army, he followed various pursuits 
until he took up railroading In 1868. During that time, he lived in 
Logansport, Indiana and was married there to Mary Amelia Cassidy 
on April 22, 1875. They had two children, Charles J. Gertrude, 
who both graduated from Rock Falls High School. Gertrude married 
John Kadel, Jr. 

Mr. McCarty returned to Illinois in 1881 and settled in Rock 
Falls, where he purchased the business interests of the Montague 
familyand dealtin coal, lime and building materials on River Street. 
He sold out that business in 1898 and engaged in building operations 
until 1905 when he and his son-in-law, John Kadel, Jr. formed a 
partnership in the hardware business. 

J.V. McCarty was the paving contractor who layed the brick for 
the paving of West 2nd Street and Dixon Avenue. Prior to this time, 
the streets were just sand. A team of horses could hardly pull a 
wagonload of grain or any material. 

J.V. McCarty Coal Office 

J.V. McCarfy on left, Ross Smith on rigfit, Man in center undentified 

Paper Mill Office and Sfieldon's Elevator shown ,n rear 

Kadel Family 

In, and shortly following the year 1875, seven members of the 
Kadel family, five brothers and two sisters and their husbands, 
moved from Fayette Co., Pennsylvania to make their homes in 
Rock Falls. They were by name, Adam, Ben, John, Peter, William, 
Catherine Kadel Stahl and MoUie Kadel Brown. 

It is presumed that the old Keystone Manufacturing Co. drew 
them to this community, as the men were all originally employed by 
that firm. 

Ben and Peter Kadel eventually moved from Rock Falls. The 
others lived out their lives here. 

In later years, Wm. Kadel owned and operated a grocery store 
on the main street. He also, at one time, was town commissioner 
of streets and alleys . 

Mr. John Kadel served his community as mayor for two terms, 
as alderman several times and for many years, was the chairman 
of the board of education. He was organizer and director of the 
Keystone band which was well known throughout our area in the early 
days of the city. He was cashier at the old Rock Falls National Bank 
for many years. 

Wm. H. Cadwell 
Wm. H. Cadwell, who owned the first newspaper in Rock Falls, 
was bom in Hartford, Conn, on December 28, 1826. He came to 
Ulinois in 1856, residing in Belvidere where he engaged in the news- 
paper business and was also an American Express Agent, in 1870, 
he formed a partnership with W.H. Tuttle and came to Rock Falls 
where they began publication of the Progress. Its publication was 
discontinued after 6-1/2 years but Mr. Cadwell continued in the 
job-printing business. Their business was conducted in #5 Industrial 
Building. He and his wife had one daughter, who married Mr. W.H. 



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Artemus W. Worthington was born in Colchester, Conn, in 1813 
and settled in Colomu Township in 1840. He was the first postmaster 
of Rapids in 1847. In 1849, he was again appointed that office and 
was postmaster until 1855 as well as town supervisor in 1854. 
He was a farmer and while picking up wheat sheaves in 1855, was 
bitten by a rattlesnake, from the effects of which he died on August 
1, 1855. 

At the time he came to Coloma Township, there were only two 
houses on this side of the river. The first Worthington home was 
built of hardwood walnut clapboards and the window sash and doors 
were of butternut wood. The only means of crossing the Rock River 
was in little dugouts. Artemus laid out the first state road, extend- 
ing from Lanark to Peru, a distance of 90 miles. It frequently lay 
across swamps and there was not a bush or sign of habitation with- 
in 20 miles . His wife was still living in 1908 at the age of 96 . Alfred, 
one of the six children born to the Worthingtons was a farmer and 
served as town commissioner and road commissioner. 

Robert McNeil 

McNeil, a well-known name in Rock Falls, dates back to 1849 
when Robert McNeil came to America on the Ship Fraconia from 
Glasgow, Scotland. Mr. McNeil married at nineteen and brought 
his bride to Coloma Township, east of Rock Falls to what is now 
the Dixon Road. To this union 4 girls and 4 boys were born. Mr. 
McNeil served as road commissioner for the township in 1890. 

A son, Alex, had a hardware store in Rock Falls for many 
years. The McNeils lived to celebrate their 60th wedding anniver- 

The Kelley Triplets 

One of the great events to the citizens of Rock Falls and sur- 
rounding territory in the year 1911, was the birth of triplets to Mr. 
and Mrs. Guy Kelley. They had two sons at the time the triplets, 
all girls, were born. The family lived on First Avenue, just north 
of the Thome and Decker Blacksmith Shop at the time Helen, Hazel 
and Hester were born. 

In a recent communication with Hester, she told of some of the 
happenings of her family. Their birth caused much excitement in 
the community, as triplets were a rare happening in those days. 
People flocked to their home just to see the three girls. They were 
the subject of many baby pictures. Their parents enjoyed getting 
them all dressed up to walk down the avenue or to have their pic- 
tures taken. One time, they went out to the country home of Fred 
G. Jurgens, a well-known photographer of that era, to have their 
pictures taken. The Jurgens home was just outside the city limits, 
on the Prophetstown Road and Mrs. Jurgens kept Jersey cows and 
churned butter. On this particular occasion, the girls were all 
dressed up in big bows, long white stockings and white dresses. 
When Mr. Jurgens had his cameras set and ready to go, there was 
no Helen. Looking about, they found she had fallen into a tall can of 
buttermilk; so there was no picture that day. 

Kelley was killed in anaccident in 1918. By this time, there was 
another son and four months after his death, another daughter. The 
family then moved toMendota, Illinois to be near a brother of Mrs. 
Kelleys. When the triplets were fourteen, they moved to Darien, 
Wisconsin, where the family began farming. The triplets were 18 
years old before they were separated by marriage. Hazel and Hester 
married Darien boys. Helen married Clifford Merwin of Woodstock, 
Illinois. They now live in San Diego, California. Hazel, Mrs. Frank 
Schuster, passed away inl9G4, of cancer. Mrs. Kelley passed away 
three weeks later at the age of 81. Hester, Mrs. Royal Jones, 
lives inDarien, Wisconsin. They are farmers and Hester is matron 
and dietician at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf at Delavan. 

Keliey Triplets, age 21 

onths. Bo 
Hazel - He 

t. 7, 1911, Rock Falls, lllinoi 

I G. Jurgen 

ny of the old pi 



Josiah C. Sturtevant was born at Center Harbor, N.H., June 16, 
1805. He came to Illinois in 1844 along with his wife, the former 
Mary A. Robbins, whom he married inPeacham, Vermont on March 
16, 1826. He began farming in Coloma Township. He and his wife 
were parents of 17 children of whom 11 lived to maturity. A daugh- 
ter, Antoinette, was the first school teacher in Coloma Township. 
Mr. Sturtevant was made the first Justice of the Peace and also the 
first road commissioner of the township. He retired from farming 
in 1893 and moved into Rock Falls. His wife passed away February 
3, 1881 and Mr. Sturtevant died October 4, 1895, the result of a 
fall in which he broke his hip. 

Isaac Sturtevant, a brother of Josiah, came to Illinois the same 
year as his brother. He was also engaged in farming in Coloma 
Township. He was married to Miss Susan Summers, November 25, 
1834 and they had nine children. He also moved to Rock Falls when 
he retired. 

The Sturtevants have many descendants still in this area, but 
the only one bearing the name Sturtevant is John, a grandson of 
Josiah, who lives on West 5th Street in Rock Falls. 

Clarence Frye, M.D. 

Clarence Frye was born in Morrison, April 4, 1877. He attended 
the schools of Morrison and graduated from Rush Medical College 
of Chicago in 1902. He then came to Rock Falls to practice the med- 
ical profession. 

Dr. Frye was coroner for 44 years; was Dr. for the old Key- 
stone Co. for many years and was medical examiner for a large 
number of years . 

Dr. Frye was married to Miss Birdie Ferris, November 7, 
1905 and they made their home at 305 Dixon Avenue. They were the 
parents of four children; Helen (Cameron), Mary Ruth (Sonneman), 
Catherine (Wyatt) and Vernon, now an attorney in Sterling. 

Dr. Frye passed away December 1, 1950 and Mrs. Frye on Feb- 
ruary 2, 1964. 

Joseph Wright 

Joseph Wright came to Rock Falls in 1869. He later bought a 
farm in Montmorency Township, where he farmed until the death of 
his wife in 1882. While there, he was elected highway commissioner 
and along with James Frank and Cornell Batcheller, supervised the 
construction of the first drainage ditches in Whiteside Co. 

After selling his farm, he moved back to Rock Falls and went 
into partnership with Sheldon and Son in the sale of farm machinery 
and the buying and shipping of livestock to Chicago. He had charge 
of the interests of .Abner Merrill in Rock Falls until Mr. Merrill 
sold his interests to Martin Bros. 

Mr. Wright was elected to the board of education and served 
several terms and one term as president of the board. He was ap- 
pointed mayor to fill out the term of Egbert Wilson, the first mayor 
who passed away while in office. He was postmaster from 1894 until 
1898. He served as a member of the city council for 20 years. He 
then refused to serve longer unless Sterling and Rock Falls united 
as one city. In 1913, Mr. Wright left Rock Falls and moved to 
Michigan to a farm, and later moved to Chicago. He died in 1944 at 
the age of 96. 

Swellhead Avenue 
Just before the turn of the century, the length of West Third 
Street in Rock Falls, from the corner of Avenue B west to theCB&Q 
tracks, was known as Swellhead Avenue, according to J. Willard 
Andrews, who came to live on this famous old street on March 16, 
1899. He was a schoolboy then and only later realized the reason it 
was called Swellhead Avenue. Here on this street and in the neigh- 
borhood lived the real backbone of Rock Falls, business and profes- 
sional men and their families, as well as humbler, hard-working 
folks who formed the sturdy fabric of which this community was 

On this southeast corner of Swellhead Avenue and Avenue B, 
livedGrove Wright, famous old schoolmaster and nurseryman. The 
Worman family, the father a manufacturer of butter, lived on the 
opposite corner, the southwest. 

Next, let's take a quick glance at the folks who lived along the 
south side of the street, from Avenue B to the Q tracks. Mrs. Bab- 
cock and daughter Maizie, a school teacher, George Eckart who 
came to help build the canal, liked Rock Falls and stayed; Phil Cul- 
lins, clerk at the CB&Q depot in Sterling; D.O. Coe, partner in the 
Coe & VanSant Lumber Co. , now Johnston Lumber Co. ; Tess Shaw, 
who operated a hack line; Ed Limond, cigar manufacturer; S.N. 
Mingle with the Keystone Mfg. Co.;J.M. Bickford, druggist; "Doc" 
Boynton, conductor on the old Shabbona passenger; John L. Newton, 
retired merchant; Mr. Creighton and son Len, a -brakeman on the 
CB&Q; A.J. McNeil, hardware merchant; the Dr. Deeming family, 
father of the late Dr. CO. Deeming;Dr. Blake, a young doctor and 
friend of every boy in town; C.L. Hubbard, prosperous grocer; and 
finally on this south side, near the tracks, Mr. Hoeffler, a retired 
butcher, who raised his smoking tobacco on the sand hill where the 
Geyer Mfg. Co. was for many years. 

A cherished memory of many was the fun they had on the corner 
of Swellhead Avenue and Avenue B. On this corner, all the boys and 
girls of Swellhead and the surrounding neighborhood, assembled 
nightly for "Run Sheep Run", "Duck on. Duck off" and many other 
games. It was an unwritten law among the youngsters, that when 
the Shabbona passenger whistled at the canal bridge, every kid 
started for home. They never waited for the curfew which blew at 
8 o'clock in winter and 9 in summer. 

Proceeding down the north side of Swellhead on the corner, was 
the home of Mr. Hayward, superintendent of Cobb & Drew, now the 
RB&W. Next to it was one of the most beautiful old houses on the 
street, the Holbrook home, used by the U.S. Engineers under Capt. 
L.L. Wheeler, assisted by Fred Honens and Willard Powers. Next 
to it, the home of Mrs. Sheldon, a widow and her children, Charles, 
John, George and Florence, the next one was the home of H.H. Wil- 
liamson, who peddled his wares from a democrat wagon hitched to 
a big white horse. Mr. Williamson was a Civil War Veteran. Next 
to it is the great white mansion, which was owned by A.C. Stanley, 
the big merchant of northern Illinois who operated the Stanley House, 
sold bread from his own bakery for 2^ a loaf, was supervisor of 
Coloma Township and later mayor of Rock Falls. The next house 
was the home of J. Willard Andrews. His father bought the house 

from L.C. Thorne, the banker. F.E. Andrews, the father, was a 
prominent lawyer. He made the survey that had the most to do with 
the government's decision to place the Hennepin Feeder at Rock 
Falls, rather than at Dixon. 


In the summer of 1867, the first general merchandise store in 
the new village of Rock Falls was opened. It was operated in a 
building moved here from Como by A.D. Hapgood on the northwest 
corner of Main and May. 

The first new store building was built by Truman Culver in Nov- 
ember of 1867 and used as a grocery. 

This was also the site of the first post office which was estab- 
lished in 1868 and Mr. Culver was the first postmaster. 

The first marriage also occurred in 1867; that of Gideon Rey- 
nolds and Mary Arey. 

The first birth was that of Lenoretta Barker in 1868 and the first 
death also occurred in that year, that of B.C. Hunt on September 15. 

The first drug store was begun in 1868 . 

Andrew Goodell and Charles Ingall started the first hardware 
store, also in 1868. 

Joseph H. Bacchus was the first blacksmith, in 1868. 

The first hotel was the Rock Falls House on what is now Third 
Avenue. It was opened by Mr. Doty in 1868. (I believe this was the 
old Marfleet house.) 

The first meat market was opened in 1868 by Wm. L. Smith. 

The first physician was Dr. J.L. Morrill who came in 1868. 

The first schoolhouse was erected in 1868 at the corner of Elm 
and Bridge streets. This building was also the first city hall, in 
1889. Mr. M.R. Harris was the first teacher. 

The first church was the Methodist Episcopal, organized in 1868. 

The first village election was held on February 4, 1869. 

The first village president wasW.L. Smith and Henry Price was 
the first clerk. 

The first jeweler was A.W. Erb, who began business m 1869. 

Brown and Ryan were the first liverymen. 

The first milliner was Mrs. N.L. Baldwin. 

The first harness -maker was M. Hendricks who began business 
in 1869. 

The first barber shop was opened by James Rush in 1871. 

The first railroad into Rock Falls was built in 1871. 

The first newspaper in Rock Falls was the Rock Falls Progress 
which commenced publication in 1870. Cadwell and Tuttle, owners. 

James Scott was the first attorney, beginning practice here in 
in 1872. 

Julius Smith also opened the first furniture store in 1872. 

The first band was the cornet band, organized in 1872, with 12 
members. Mr. John Kadel was their leader. Wm. and Peter Kadel 
were also members. 

The first bank was established in 1874 by Ephraim Brookfield. 

Samuel Schultz was the first shoemaker in 1872. 

R.H. Sheldon and son were the first agricultural implement 
dealers, 1874. 

Augustus P. Smith was the first real estate dealer. 

In 1874, the first trip by the White Swan Ferry was made. 

The first free bridge between Rock Falls and Sterling was built 
in 1878. 

The first lodge was the Ancient Order of United Workmen, In- 
dustrial Lodge #5. It was instituted on June 12th, 1875 and Truman 
Culver was the Master Workman. 

The first fire department was the Keystone Hose Company, or- 
ganized in July of 1876. 

The first electric light plant was begun in 1895. The first light 
customer was in the building where Wheelocks now stands. This 
was also the first revenue of the company. 

The first new car dealer was Samuel Frank. He sold Fords. 

The first park was given by Abner Merrill and is now known as 
Veterans Memorial Park. 

The first pavement was built in 1905; 1st to 4th Avenues on West 
Second Street. 


Charles Allen 
Charles Allen and his wile Agnes lived at 205 Dixon Avenue for 
many years. He was retired and a veteran of the Civil War. They 
celebrated IheirCSth anniversary. The following year, both of them 
died, he at the age of 93, and she at 8K. 

Lewis B. Ward 
311 Dixon Avenue was the home of Lewis B. Ward, a retired 
farmer. He and his wife lived there until around 1915, when they 
both passed away, being close to 90 years old. Their son, Clarence 
A. Ward and his wife lived on their farm at Stone Station. She died 
in her 80's. Clarence drove to California at the age of 86 and lived 
there until his death at about the age of 90. 

Warren T. Burdick 
Many of the brick houses of our city were built by Warren T. 
Burdick, a brick mason and cement contractor. He lived on West 
Second Street - the brick home now occupied by Wayne Cleveland, 
a high school teacher. 

Charles Burdick 
Charles, the brother of Warren, was also a cement and plaster- 
ing contractor. He lived at 506 Seventh Avenue for many years. 

Andrew S. Goodell 
"Goodell Court" was named after the Andrew S. Goodell's, who 
lived at 311 E. Fourth Street. In his day, there was no inside plumb- 
ing or modern conveniences of any kind. They had a cistern for rain 
water and a driven well with an iron pump for their cooking and 
drinking water. When this house was built in the "wilderness", the 
well was driven and somehow overlapped about four feet onto the 
adjoining lot. When this lot was sold in 1912, Goodell was quite 
concerned about the buyer preventing his use of the pump. He was 
assured it wouldn't happen. Their house was sold several years 
after he and his wife passed away. 

Samuel H. Figeley 

Samuel Figeley resided at 309 E. Third Street. He had been a 
salesman and traveled extensively. In 1933 he was elected mayor of 
Rock Falls and served until 1945. He was then associated with the 
Weeks Coal Co. of Sterling. 

Sam was a Spanish War Veteran of 1898. He passed away in 1950 
at the age of 76. 

Ed Adams 
105 Second Avenue was the home of the Ed Adams family. He 
was employed as a clerk in the Wm. Sowles Grocery Store. Ed 
passed away in 1927 at the age of 71. 

Gus Hansen 
Gus Hansen was a barber doing business on West Second Street 
for many years. He was aSpanish War Veteran. After retiring from 
the barbershop, Gus served as constable and Justice of the Peace 
in his home at 702 First Avenue until he passed away in 1963 at the 
age of 93. Gus served our city as mayor from 1931 to 1933, when 
he was succeeded by Sam Figeley. 

Ed Limond 
Limond ran a tobacco store and news stand on West Second 
Street, rolling his cigars by hand from leaf tobacco. He died in 1936 
at the age of 89. 

O.J. Johnson 

Johnson was a rural mail carrier in the horse and buggy days, 
in the late 90's and early 1900 's. He lived at 200 E. Third Street. 
O.J. used two horses to alternate every other day since the mail 
route was 25 or 27 miles and quite a drive everyday over dirt roads 
that were often impassible in the spring. 

This site was sold to Mr. Geyer who started the Geyer Mfg. 
Plant, which later was sold to "Wood, Shovel and Tool Co.". The 
plant was closed in 1964. John Dussler, who is the grandson of O.J. 
Johnson, bought the building in 1966. John was born on the very 
location of the building he purchased. 

Lars Peter Jensen 

Of Danish descent, Jensen was a carpenter by trade and general 
contractor. He resided at West Second Street and 10th Avenue. His 
workshop and planing mill were next door, his machinery being 
powered by a large gasoline engine. 

Jensen was the contractor for the Fourth Street Methodist 
Church in Sterling. (P.T. VanHorn was the architect.) He also 
erected several of the fine homes, among them a large two story 
residence for N.G. Van Sant, an attorney at 601 Second Avenue, 
Sterling. The building is now owned and occupied by Attorney Robert 
W. Besse. Around 1927, Jensen sold his shop and business to Ben 
Brainerd and moved to Third Avenue and First Avenue, the present 
Wheelock-AUen Funeral Home. 

Joseph O. Wagley 
Wagley was a Civil War Veteran. His home was at 412 E. Fifth 
St. He lived 92 years in our city, and was respected and admired by 
everyone. He passed away in 1930. 

Harry Moates 
Moates had a furniture repair shop in the basement beneath the 
Stone Insurance Agency on Second Avenue. He was one of the three 
founders of the Coloma Park District, along with Jacob Cantlin as 
president and Charles A. Smith as secretary-treasurer. He was 
present at the joint park meeting with Sterling Park members, over 
the operation of Lawrence Park, which is in Coloma Township. 
Harry died in 1938 at the age of 72. 

Porter G. Kelsey 
Porter lived at 302 Second Avenue. He operated a harness shop 
on West Second Street in the late80's. Later, his son William join- 
ed the business. In the early 1900's, he erected a large double house 
across the street from his residence. In recent years, the site has 
been purchased by the Rock Falls Bank and demolished to make 
room for a parking lot. 

M.T. Mouk 

Mouk lived at 808 W. Second Street. He was in partnership with 
James Hatch in 1910. Together they manufactured cement blocks_ 
from their factory which was located on the river bank at 12th Ave- 
nue, where the Rock Falls High School parking lot now stands. 

Mouk built several homes on LeRoy Avenue. All were made of 
blocks of huge dimension, such as 8".x8"x24". Later years regulated 
the size to 8"x8"xl6". On the corner at 800 LeRoy Avenue, Mouk 
erected a three apartment building, which is now owned by Lee C. 
Wilkens. The business block at East Second St. and First Avenue 
was erected by Frank W. Wheeler and was made fromMouk's larg- 
er size block. The partnership dissolved after a few years, and the 
business collapsed. 

John Pippert, Sr. 

A meat and butcher shop was operated by Pippert and his four 
sons at West Second Street and Third Avenue. Henry was store op- 
erator, Charles was farm manager of Rock Falls, William was a 
Canadian farmer, and John Jr. was a salesman for a Chicago Pack- 
ing Co. 

At their farm in Montmorency, they fed and fattened many fine 
steers for their own business and the Chicago markets. All four 
sons have passed away. John Pippert Sr. passed away inl919at the 
age of 72. 

A.L. Coe 
A.L. Coe was an auctioneer and livestock buyer. He went into 
partnership with Charles Pippert under the name of "Coe and Pip- 
pert". They shipped many cars of cattle and hogs to Chicago from 
the yards at the C.B. & Q. depot in Rock Falls. Hogs were some- 
times hauled by team and wagon. Coe lived at 308 E. Second St. 

lioss Smith 
Ross Smith ;iiid Fred Gnilcr formed a partniTshi^ and started 
a coal business located on West Second Street (now owned and op- 
erated by Joe Rubin and Sons). Smith purchased the s;round from 
J.V. MeCart\ . The coal business lasted for several years. Then 
Smith joined Fred Geyer in the manulaeturintv of garden utensils. 
They began the Geyer Mfg. Co., building a factory a block long be- 
tween Kast Third and East Fourth St., across from the C.B. &Q. 
depot. Smith lived at iOOO West Second Street. 

A.C. Stanley 

A.C. Stanley, maxorfrum 1913 to lOl.'i, came to Rock Falls 
from .Aurora. He had been employed there by the C.B. & Q. Rail- 
road in the car department. After moving here around 1873, he be- 
came a carpenter, building and selling coffins at the coffin factory 
lor 9 years. For the next 35 years, he established a grocery store 
in the 100 block on West Second Street. In the latter years, he was 
helped b\ his sons. Earl and Walter. Eli Gudeman bought the store 
and continued in the business, which was in a wood frame building. 
In the late 80's, it was moved to the east side of First Avenue, now 
owned b\ Ray Hughes and known as Ray's Garden Shop. On the same 
site, StanlcN erected a 3 story building, the upper floors being a 
hotel, and the lower one housing a dining room that served meals 
for 25-35 cents. It was operated by Jule Whitney. 

Stanley was foreman of the wood department at hiternalional 
Harvester Co. His family lived at 300 East Third Street. Today, 
his youngest sonHoward operates a coal business in Sterling. Stan- 
ley was an ardent worker and committeeman for the Corn Carnivals 
which originated around 1910. 

Elmer K. Teach 

Teach was a blaclcsmith by trade. His shop was located at West 
Second Street and Fourth Avenue, across from the City Hall. His 
home was at 400 Gait Avenue. 

Ben Teach and Robert Bracken also did lilacksmilh work from 
the shop at 30G West Second Street. 

Thomas Worman 
Worman operated a shoe store on West Second Street for several 
years. He lived on East Third Street. Thomas was aCivil War Vet- 
eran. He died about 1909, at the age of H2. 

Charles LaShcllc 
LaShelle operated a team and wagon delivery service for the 
merchants, hauling all goods from the depot to their place of busi- 
ness. In thosedays, all shipments came by rail, regardless of their 
origin. LaShelle was a Civil War Veteran. He died in 1943 at the 
age of 97. 

M. L. Washburn 

Washburn operated a grocery store on West Second Street 
from the IsaO's until his death in 1929, when he was 7H. He was of 
the old school and stuck with the old ideas, alwa\s having time for 
a practical joke. 

Di the days of the Corn Carnival, he placed in his store window, 
a halt dozen coconuts and fixed them up to imitate and look like 
some of his fellow merchants, with their names, such as L.P. Mc- 
Millen, T.J. Wylie, Wm. Sowles, Sr., Dr. F.J. Scott, Wm. Stone 
or F.H. Geyer, merely for a joke. The town got much enjoyment 
from his wit. 

Old Merrill School Building on left- nov« 


The first permanent settlement in Coloma Township was made 
by Isaac Merrill and Edward Atkins early in 1837. Coloma's first 
school was taught in 1845 by Anastascia Sturtevant. 

Classes were first held in an old store building in Rapids City, 
as Rock Falls was then known. The next year, the people agreed to 
pay L.H. Woodworth twenty dollars for a twelve by twelve frame 
building originally built for storing corn. Mr. Woodworth was to be 
paid in produce. This building served as a school house until 1854, 
having been moved to the location of the present East Coloma School. 

The city of Rock Falls had its beginning in 1867. The first 
school was held in a brick building located on First Avenue, where 
the Decker building now stands. Then it was moved to the present 
site of the Merrill School. It was moved about 1880 to the corner 
of Second Street and Fourth Avenue, where it was used as a munici- 
pal building until 1965 when it was demolished. 

The following teachers were mentioned as serving the Rock 
Falls Schools during this period of its history. Mr. Harris C. Parks, 
C.D.Glenn, A.D. Tyson, Fayette Johnson, Miss M. Rowland, Mr. 
Woodbridge and Harry A. Smith. 

In 1895, the annex was built connecting with the building built in 
1888. This building was used as a high school. The teachers for 
this year were as follows: Prof. O.E. Phares, Superintendent; 
E.L. Davis, Principal, Miss Smith and Miss Myrtle Shaffer. 

Grade teachers were: Jedd Landwere, Marion Leydig, Miss 
Nellie Jacobs, Miss Lulu Miller, Miss Omer, Miss Mabel Treash- 
er. Miss Clara Gilbert, Miss Bessie McNeil, Mrs. Nellie Halstead, 
Miss Muriel Price, singing teacher. 

The annex and the brick building were connected by a fire escape 
which the children used to cross from building to building. This 
building was demolished in 1953 to make room for the extension of 
the new Junior High School on South Merrill. 

Merrill School 

Two frame buildings were erected on the present site of Merrill 
School before the first brick building was erected in 1888. This 
brick building contained eight rooms. By this time, enrollment had 
reached three hundred students under the leadership of B.F. Hen- 
dricks. Mr. M.F. McAllister was custodian. 

High School 

The new high school building on West Second Street was com- 
pleted in 1921. Since that time, two new additions have been added. 
One of these additions was in 1941. Since 1880, when six students 
comprised the first graduating class to now, with over two hundred 
twenty-five graduates annually. Rock Falls Township High School 
has become a big institution of learning. The principal of the school 
Is Forest L. Tabor. 

We should not fall to mention that the old Christian Church was 
the high school for a few years prior to moving to the new structure 
on West Second Street In 1920 . 

Maybe some of you Rock Falls alumni, young and old, remem- 
ber ihese men: Harry A. Smith, W.R. Kirk. B.F. Hendricks, Prof. 
Haney, O.E. Phares, C.R. Holsinger, J.B. Wallace, R.M. Robert- 
son, L.S. Chamberlain and Carl Thokey. All of these men were at 
one time principals of Rock Falls High School. Mr. Forest Tabor 
has been the present principal since 1950. 

In the early nineteen hundreds, while A. A. Thome was mayor, 
a need for a school was apparent in the east end of town. In 1913, 
Thome School was built. It consisted of three rooms. As the popu- 
lation increased, additional space was needed. In 1949, an addition 
of nine classrooms, office and gymnasium were attached to the 
original structure. Today, Thome School enrollment averages four 
hundred thirty students. Every available nook and corner is used to 
give these students the benefits of modern education. The principal 
at Thome School since 1957 is Werdell Clark who is retiring this 

Thome School 

Now we shall go west to Merrill School again. Rock Falls was 
in the midst of a population spurt in the nineteen thirties and forties. 
Present facilities were overtaxed so a separate building was built 
east of the old high school. This building, known as South Merrill, 
was completed in 1939. The principal of Merrill School is Donald 
Stevens . 

Again students outnumbered facilities, so old East Merrill, 
formerly part of the old high school, was razed to make room for 
a junior high school. 

South Merrill was joined to the north and south by additions to 
make the new Rock Falls Junior High School. Recently, the new 
gymnasium was attached to the new Junior High School building. 
The Junior High was dedicated in 1955. The principal is Dwayne W. 

During the nineteen hundred fifties. Rock Falls had a building 
boom to the south across Route 30. 

Dillon School was built in 1952. Again this building became too 
small for existing conditions, so in 1958, and again in 1963, addi- 
tions had to be added to accommodate the influx of new students. 
Dillon School has an average enrollment of six hundred fifty stu- 
dents. The principal at Dillon School is Mr. Kenneth Glover. 

Many old timers may remember W.S. Dimmett as Superinten- 
dent. Mr. E.I. Lehr followed Mr. Dimmett and was Superintendent 
for thirty years. Clark D. Hoot is the present Superintendent. 

Mr. FredHagerman was custodian of the school for over twenty- 
eight years, retiring in the late 1950's. He was friend and confidant 
to countless pupils during that long period of time. 

Mrs. (Genevieve) John Vickrey served as a very efficient sec- 
retary to the Superintendent of the schools for many years. 

Among the many teachers who have served on the faculty of the 
Rock Falls elementary schools for long periods of tune might be 
listed the following: Miss Beulah Waples, Miss M. Elizabeth Ham- 
ilton, Miss Julia Whiteley and Miss Leora Black. Many more might 
be mentioned, who taught here for ten to twenty years or more. 

In addition to the Rock Falls public schools, St. Andrews parish 
supports a grade school which has been in operation for the past 
fifteen years. They have been educating boys and girls of our com- 
munity for service to God and to Country in accordance with the 
motto over the main entrance to their school building located at 
700 10th Avenue. The sisters of Loretto and lay teachers staff the 

school with Sister Marietta, S.L. as principal. Three hundred and 
forty-four boys and girls are currently enrolled in St. Andrews in 
grades one through eight, with the majority of them coming from 
Rock Falls. The operation of St. Andrew's school, since it is sub- 
sidized by the people of the parish represents a contribution to the 
Rock Falls community by the parishioners of St. Andrew's annually 
in e.xcess of $120,000. 

The schools on either end of the township have been growing by 
leaps and bounds as the community expands beyond the city limits. 

The first East Coloma School was a small 12 x 12 building which 
was moved from Rapids City to a land site donated to the conmiun- 
ity for a school by Thomas Yeoward. This was in 1846 and the 
building served as a school for the next eight years. The Yeoward 
family has had five generations attending this school, and four gen- 
erations have served on the school boards through the years. In 
1854, a brick school house was built and the old building was sold 
to Thomas Robinson who used it as a residence. In 1906, the old 
brick school was replaced with a frame building, around which all 
the new additions have been built. Just this year, the original frame 
building was demolished. 

Some early members of the school boards are familiar names, 
even today: Burt Emmons, John Emmons, John Rosengren, Frank 
Brown, Alfred Worthington, John McNeil. The road on the west 
side of the school being McNeil Road, is named for the McNeil 
family. Most of the area known as the Yeoward addition is in Mont- 
morency Township. 

In 1950, East Coloma School consisted of 125 pupils and a fourth 
teacher was added to the staff. Now, in 1967, the enrollment is 
about 400 with a staff of 21 full and part-time teachers, showing 
the tremendous growth in this area of the township. The principal 
is Peter Ternetti. 

On the west side of the township, we find Riverdale School. Old 
records of the school were destroyed sometime in the 1930 's when 
someone was "housecleaning", so much of the factual history of the 
school was lost. However, an old history of the township states 
that in 1858, there were two schools in the township and undoubtedly 
one was in the west part. The first school was located about 30 
rods from the river about where Route 30 now crosses Rock River. 
An old atlas of 1877, shows that by that time the school house had 
been moved to its present location on the corner of the Prophets- 
town Road and Mitchell Street. It was surrounded by land owned by 
various members of theSturtevant family and perhaps the land was 
donated by them for a school. Miss Emma Sturtevant is known to 
have been one of the first teachers. Josie Barrett Sensenbaugh and 
Effie Chapin Gaulrapp also are among the early teachers. 

The first expansion of the school consisted of raising it and put- 
ting a basement under it. But it remained just a one-room school 
until the late 1940 's. A new addition was added in 1948 and the en- 
rollment increased from 7 to 77 in the years from 1949 to 1956 when 
theAUen subdivision was opened. Since that time, eight more class 
rooms and an all purpose room have been added. 

Mrs. Clarence (Beulah) Allen taught the school from 1928 to 
1942, believed to be the longest tenure thus far. 

In the year 1967, there are 199 pupils and 9 teachers. Delbert 
O. Dortch is the principal. 

A new addition to our school community, in this our centennial 
year, is the Sauk Valley College. It is a two year Junior College 
and is located on the banks of the Rock River, midway between 
Dixon and Sterling. The 150 acre campus site cost $150,000. The 
college is being operated in a200by 218 foot one-story metal build- 
ing at the present time. The permanent buildings, when built, will 
be along the river frontage. 

Voters in the college district, of which Rock Falls and Coloma 
Township are a part, approved a $3, 975, 000 bond referendum by a 
four to one margin February 26, 1966, as the districts share of 
the building cost. 

Sauk Valley College was converted from a cornfield into an 
operating campus in a five-month period of time, with the first 
classes started in September of 1966. 

When the second year of the college starts in September 1967, 
it will add an extensive vocational and industrial division. These 
classes will be held in rented facilities in Rock Falls, which were 
a part of the old Geyer Manufacturing Company. 

The college district is comprised of high school districts of 
Sterling, Rock Falls, Morrison, Amboy, Tampico, Dixon, Pro- 

phetstown, Polo, Ohio, Walnut and part of Franklin Grove. 

The beautiful site, which many people thought was too expensive, 
will keep a good portion of our beautiful Rock River land in the pub- 
lic domain, at a time when so much of our river front is being 
privately developed and forever lost to the people of the community. 

The President of Sauk Valley College is Dr. Edward Sabol. 

Another addition to our towns educational facilities is the White- 
side Area Vocational Center which will open for classes in Septem- 
ber of 1967. It is being built on the campus of Sterling Township 
High School, but will be for all students of Whiteside County whose 
high school districts are participating. 

Before a city can make any progress, it must have organization, 
not only politically, but socially also. The people of Rock Falls en- 
joy taking an active part in their city by joining one or more of the 
numerous clubs in existence. These organizations, clubs, or chap- 
ters, not only benefit those who belong to them, but also aid many 
other citizens by giving to various civic funds, taking projects upon 
themselves that improve the community and offering individual 
awards to those members of the community who are deserving. 
Through the work of such groups, the poor have happy holidays, the 
intelligent student receives a scholarship, or the city takes an ac- 
tive part in national drives. We owe much to the following groups. 
Without them, our city couldn't have progressed as far as it has, 
and with their help, will move on into the future. 


The Rock Falls Royal Neighbors were organized at a meeting 
called by J.B. Kearns on December 21, 1894, in the Hall of the 
Modern Woodman of America. J.W. White was appointed Secretary 
for the evening. 

The petition for the Charter was read and the following names 
were read: J.W. White, A.C. Stanley, E.E. Horner, Ella Horner, 
T.E. Irwin, J.V. McCarty, Mary McCarty, Samuel Grosse, Eur- 
ella Grosse, G.F. Moulton, Ida Moulton, Ira G. Berry, Henry Hein, 
Carrie Hein, J.K. Williams, Alice Eiteman, Anna McFalls, Mar- 
garet Kadel, Cynthia Lyle, Mrs. August Beck, Dr. H.M. Rauch, 
Dr. Ella Franc Merrill. The charter fee was $1.50. 

The obligation was administered and an election was held. Those 
holding office for the new camp were: Oracle Mary McCarty, Past 
Oracle Cynthia Lyle, Vice-Oracle Margaret Kadel, Recorder Ella 
Horner, Receiver Alice Eiteman, Chancellor Lucy Williams, Mar- 
shall Anna McFalls, Inner Sentinel Carrie Hein, Board of Managers 
Cynthia Lyle, Dr. Ella Franc Morrill, Lucy Williams, Dr. H.M. 
Rauch and Dr. E. Franc Morrill. Dr. Morrill was elected camp 

The camp name selected was "Holly" and the first three candi- 
dates to be initiated were: Lucinda Kadel, Annie McIUmoyl, and 
Louise Rubright. 

Holly Camp has grown from 23 fraternal charter members to a 
membership of 242. At present $261,845 worth of insurance is 
carried. Fifty year pins have been given to 11 members in the past 
three years . 

The camp has held many activities over the years, including 
socials and basket suppers. A Juvenile Camp was chartered in 
October 1926. Marie Adair was the juvenile director and her daugh- 
ter, Ramona Russell was the first Oracle. 

In 1935, all possessions were destroyed when tire burned the 
McNeil Hall, located at 221-1/2 W. 2nd Street. After the building 
was remodeled, they continued in that location until 1938, then mov- 
ing to the Sterling I.O.O.F. Temple. 

The Holly Camp assists members in sickness and bereavement, 
makes donations to the Help to Hear Fund, Cancer Fund, Red Cross 
and to community projects. Present officers are: Oracle Joyce 
Warehime, Past Oracle Elva Crabb, Vice Oracle Delia Deets, 
Chancellor Irene Taylor, Recorder Mabel Lutyens, Receiver Marie 
Adair, Marshal Bernice Wallace, Ass't. Marshal Albina Zivney, 
Inner Sentinel Marie Nelson, Outer Sentinel Ida Beck, Faith Mari- 
etta Kohl, Courage Marguerite Ryan, Unselfishness Gladys Beck, 
Modesty Irene Schick, Endurance Bertha Schueler, Musician Grace 
Christensen, Managers Irene Schick, Mildred Southard and Grace 
Christensen. Camp Physician Dr. Pohly. 


On April 22, 1936, a small group of Rock Falls business men 
formed the nucleus of what was to be Rock Falls' first service club, 
still in existence. Its organization was made possible by the untiring 
efforts of its first president. Gene E. Newburn, agricultural in- 
structor from Rock Falls High School and the sponsoring club of 
Sterling. On June 12, 1936, "Charter Night" was held with a banquet 
at the Sterling Coliseum, attended by approximately 200 Rotarians 
and wives, representing most of the 40 clubs of the 40th district. 
The charter members were: Gene Newburn, President, agricultural 
education extension; William J. Sowles, Vice President, dry goods; 
Rev. Reuben M. Furnish, Secretary and Chaplain, Protestantism; 
Tracey J. Wylie, Treasurer, drugs; Max Hill, Sergeant-at-arms, 
electrical equipment and supplies; Dr. Stephen A. Allen, Physician 
and Surgeon; Jacob Cantlin, general law practice; Charles Castle, 
refined oil products; Robert Harper, life insurance; John Hurdle, 
hardware; Henry Kaup, milk; W. Wilson King, grain farming; Jess 
McKinney, grain distributing; Ralph M. Robertson, education high 
schools; Isador Rubin, scrap iron and steel; Sam Rubin, civil law 
practice; Ellsworth C. Wolf, groceries. It will be noticed that in a 
Rotary Club, the membership is formed on the unique plan of having 
one active and representative man from each line of business and 
profession in the community. Today "Rotary" is a word that stands 
for better business practices and loftier ideals in business and pro- 
fessional intercourse, for service to one's community, and for the 
development of international understanding and peace. The Rock 
Falls Rotary Club prospered through the years and grew to the pre- 
sent membership of about 50 men. The club celebrated its 25th an- 
niversary at Jul's Danish Farm on September 26, 1961 with eight 
of the original charter members present: Jacob Cantlin, John Hur- 
dle, Henry Kaup, W. Wilson King, Jess McKinney, Isador Rubin, 
William Sowles and Ellsworth C. Wolf. At this meeting Jess Mc- 
Kinney was recognized for having 25 years of perfect attandance — 
either at his own club or another Rotary Club, the latter being ac- 
counted as a "make-up". Considering that Rotary Clubs meet every 
week, this is an unusual accomplishment and Jess is now an honor- 
ary member of the club. The 1966-67 officers are Herman Oltman, 
President; Clark Hoot, Vice-President; Frank Reichardt, Secretary; 
Glenn Detweiler, Treasurer; John Naylor, Clark Wasson, Orville 
Harting, Glenn Coleman, Lorin Dillon and Emery McNeil, Direc- 
tors. Clark Hoot will be the Centennial President, holding office 
during the 1967-68 Rotary year. The community looks forward to 
the annual Rotary "Corn-Boil" which has helped finance the annual 
contribution of $1,000 for six years, to the Rock Falls Community- 
Youth Building. Other community activities in which Rock Falls 
Rotary Club has contributed are: Sponsoring a Little League Base- 
ball team and providing their uniforms. High School and Sauk Valley 
Scholarships, Christmas gifts for the aged at Whiteside County 
Home, Veteran's Memorial Band Shell, Boy's State, Prom-Parents, 
United Church Women Thanksgiving Fellowship, Retarded Children 
Bus Fund, Self-Help Enterprises, Community Chest, trash cans in 
the business district to help keep our city clean and Rock Falls 
Centennial Fund. 

As Rock Falls moves on into the future, the Rock Falls Rotary 
Club will be helping taking its part in any of the activities, where 
it is needed. 


The Rock Falls Woman's Club was organized in 1911 with Mrs. 
Francis K. Andrews the first president. The Rock Falls Club is a 
member of the Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs and also of the 
General Federation of Women's Clubs which is the largest women's 
organization in the world. 

This is a service club which does a great deal of work locally 
as well as supporting projects of the Federation. Some of the ser- 
vices provided locally are scholarships for music, conservation, 
art and nursing. Donations for Community Chest, American Cancer, 
United Church Women, International Fellowship, Self-Help Enter- 
prises, Cerebral Palsy, picnic for retarded children from Di.xon 
State School, Heart Fund and numerous smaller projects are their 
yearly activities. Money is also sent for the Illinois Cottage for 
Girls, Lincoln Lodge at Boys Town of Illinois and Care. Many of 
the club members do other volunteer work in the community. 

In 1961, the Rock Falls Woman's Club celebrated their 50th 
anniversary and many lovely programs, teas and luncheons were 
presented during the year. Mrs. James Sensenbaugh was the only 
living charter member at that time. She passed away September 1, 
1966. Many past presidents and members of previous years attended 
the anniversary program presented in April 1961. 

The garden department of the Rock Falls Woman's Club was 
organized by Mrs. Nettie Llbby. At her death, the Woman's Club 
and the garden department shared in her estate. By using the inter- 
est, they have been able to provide many things in the community. 

Other departments of the Woman's Club are Public Affairs, 
Home Life, International Affairs, Fine Arts and Education. 

The Woman's Club meetings are the second Tuesday each month 
with the garden department meeting the third Tuesday and the other 
combined department meetings the fourth Tuesday. 

The club president for the year 1966-67 is Mrs. Wm. Montgom- 


September 6, 1945, a temporary charter was granted to the Rock 
Falls American Legion Post #902. This was secured by James 
Burke, Earl Wolfe and Fred Alexander. The permanent charter was 
granted in 1947. 

The first installation of officers in 1945 was held in the Odd 
Fellows hall in Rock Falls when James Burke was elected as the 
first commander of the Legion Post #902. 

Meetings were held at various places such as Commander Burke's 
garage until cold weather forced them to move to the Masonic 
Temple. At this time, it was decided that a permanent building was 
needed and ground was purchased at 412 4th Avenue, where the 
building was erected in 1946. This was accomplished with the 
assistance of private business men and legionaires. In 1956 an ad- 
dition was added on to the front which is now the present cement 
block building. 

The officers for 1967 are: Commander Marion Franks; Senior 
Vice-Commander John Myers ; Junior Vice-Commander Aaron Knox; 
Finance Officer Marion Genkinger; Adjutant James Chapman. 

Many community projects are helped by the American Legion- 
aires each year. They sponsor a Boy Scout troop and Little League 
ball team; send boys to Boys State, give scholarships, recognize 
outstanding students in Rock Falls and Newman High Schools, give 
to child welfare, contribute to Veterans Rehabilitation, send pack- 
ages to Viet Nam and help support a cottage for under-privileged 
children at Normal, Illinois. 


The Advance Lodge #590 I.O.O.F. was granted a charter Octo- 
ber 13, 1875 and has been active in Rock Falls ever since. Among 
the early leaders of the organization were A.C. Stanley, Sol Kern, 
C.E. Payson, Theodore P. Lukens and J.H. Montague. 

The lodge is a fraternal, non-sectarian, non-partison, non- 
political and non-profit organization which does much charitable 
work each year. One of the finest accomplishments was the estab- 
lishment of the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in 1883, which is located on the 
east edge of the city and has been enlarged several times. In 1888, 
the members of the lodge met with their wives and daughters and 
organized the Rebekah Lodge. 

Officers of Lodge#590 forl967are MelvinSchuldt, Noble Grand; 
John J. Schick, Vice-Grand; Art Nelson, Secretary; Glenn Detweil- 
°r. Treasurer; John T. Schick, Custodian of the Cemetery. 

July 26, 1888, several women met in the home of Miss Kate 
Ramsey in North Hume and organized the Good Deed Circle of the 
Kings Daughters and Sons Organization. The charter members 
were: Mrs. Jane Barrett, Mrs. Leona Wetzel, Mrs. Pantha Schick, 
Mrs. Van Sant, Mrs. Almira Brimmer, Ella and Anna Gaulrapp, 
May Fluck, Rena Wetzell, Mrs. Luch Ramsey and Elizabeth and 
Kate Ramsey. In 1963, they celebrated their 75th anniversary. 
From this beginning, other circles have been formed and at the 
present time there are seven in Whiteside County with a member- 
ship of 105. The active circles are: Good Deed, Good Samaritan, 
Golden Purpose, Silver Cross, Loyal, Busy Hand and Good Cheer. 

The 1967 County officers for the Kings Daughters are: Mrs. Earl 
George, President; Mrs. Earl Eshleman, Vice-President; Mrs. 
Lawrence Wesner, 2nd Vice-President; Mrs. Tom Zeigler, Secre- 
tary and Mrs. M.R. Kimmel, Treasurer. 

The Kings Daughters and Sons are an International organization 
which does considerable philanthropic work. 


The Grand Lodge granted a charter October 11, 1911 and Rock 
Falls Lodge #936 came into being with leadership under the first 
Worshipful Master Fred H. Geyer, Senior Warden L.P. McMillen, 
Junior Warden E.O. Phares. Lee L. Emmons of Jim Falls, Wis- 
consin is the only living charter member. 

The first lodge hall was located in the Trager building located at 
the corner of First Avenue and E. Second Street for fifty-one years. 
Since 1962, the lodge hall has been in the former International Har- 
vester building at 201 W. First Street after the organization pur- 
chased and renovated the building. 

The lodge is a fraternal organization for men who are worthy 
to become members by petition for fellowship. Free Masonry is an 
organization of men believing in the fatherhood of God and the broth- 
erhood of man, using builders tools as symbols to teach basic moral 
truths, thereby impressing upon the minds of its members the car- 
dinal virtues of brotherly love, relief and truth which they should 
apply to everyday activities . Man does not live by bread alone, but 
has need for the old fashioned virtues. 

The lodge has many worthwhile projects and helps maintain the 
children's home at LaGrange, the old folks home at Sullivan and 
numerous Masonic hospitals throughout the state. 

Officers for 1967 are: Worshipful Master Victor Hart, Senior 
Warden Willard Baldwin, Junior Warden Harry Smith, Treasurer 
Elmer McNinch, Secretary Wilbur McNinch, Senior Deacon Wm. 
Wolber, Junior Deacon Virgil Jennings, Senior Stewart Arthur 
Folkers, Junior Stewart Everett Poff, Tyler James Mathis, Mar- 
shall Darrell Stevens and Chaplain Winifred Baker. 


The Rock Falls Chapter of the Eastern Star was organized late 
in 1911 and was granted a charter by the Grand Chapter of Illinois 
on January 26, 1912. The first officers of the organization were: 
Anna Jensen, Worthy Matron; T.J. Wylie, Worthy Patron; Belle 
Woodward, Associate Matron; Lura Trager, Secretary and Lulu 
Gever, Treasurer. Other officers included Nellie Stone, Bertha 
Wylie, Marion Leydig, Mary Limerick, Amanda Taylor, Florence 
Stanley, Frances Andrews, Agnes Allen, E.U. Taylor and Emma 
Murray. Mrs. Bertha Wylie is the only living charter member. The 
majority of the Deputy Grand Officers for instituting the Rock Falls 
Chapter were members of the Sterling Chapter. 

The chapter celebrated its 50th anniversary in September of 1962 
at Past Officer's Night. At this meeting Clara Ashling and Elmer 
Leusby served as Worth\- Matron and Worth\- Patron. 

Officers for 1967 are: Margaret Truedson, Worthy Matron; 
Kenneth Truedson, Worthy Patron; Vera Sayers, AssociateMatron; 
Earl Sayers, Associate Patron; Marion Smith, Secretary andRuby 
Morrow, Treasurer. Other officers are: Ruth Carter, Lunda Smith, 
Minerva Hagberg; Catheryn Ebenezer, Betty Pratt, Bess Schoat, 
Ollie Lowrie, Olive Scheider, Vera Brainerd, Lou Ettinger, Elea- 
nor Smith, Harry Smith and Mildred Smith. 

The Past Matrons Club of the Chapter was organized in 1958, 
meeting four times a year in the homes of the Past Matrons. The 
chapter members also enjoy the social meetings of its Social Club 
which meets each month. 


Chapter CC of the P. E.O. Sisterhood was organized in Rock 
Falls, January 9, 1926. The charter members were: Francis E. 
Potter. Helen L. Church, Bertha M. Yackel, Sara H. Vanbil, Merle 
Colder, Norma Riehl, Laura Scott, Theo H. Bristol, Virginia Ka- 
del, Claribel Stephenson, Lois Dimmiett and Irene Ranch. 

The local chapter is a member of an international organization 
whose purposes are educational and charitable. 

Through the Sisterhood, Chapter CC aids in the support of a re- 
volving educational fund which has aided almost 14,000 women in 
completing their education. An International Peace Scholarships 

program enables students from foreign countries to complete their 
education in the United States. 

Cottey Junior College at Nevada, Mo. has been owned and sup- 
ported by tlje Sisterhood since 1927, and the Illinois Chapter owns 
and maintains a P.E.O. Home in Knoxville, Illinois. 

The 1966-67 officers are: Pauline Howe, President; IVlary Baker, 
Vice-President; Vella Fadden, Rec. Secretary; Dorothy Winkler, 
Cor. Secretary; Sue Brown, Treasurer; Ruth Walton, Chaplain and 
Helen Manges, Guard. 

The FraternalOrder of Eagles Auxiliary was instituted inMarch 
1950 and just recently celebrated its 17th anniversary. Mrs. Myrtle 
Massingill Knaple was the first Mdm. President and charter mem- 
ber. Janet Fairbanks, now deceased, was the first Junior Past 
Mdm. President. The auxiliary was instituted with fifty-one charter 

The members of the auxiliary donate to many worthwhile pro- 
jects such as Cancer Foundation, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystro- 
ph\ and their own Memorial Foundation, which provides funds for 
needs of fatherless children across the country. Projects through- 
out the year provide funds to help the needy at Christmas time and 
gifts for the men and women at Whiteside County Nursing Home. 
The officers for 1967 are: Mdm. President Mrs. R.D. (Lucille) 
Dale; Vice-President Mrs. Chester (Margaret) Holsington; Secre- 
tary Mrs. J.S. (Bernice) Pence and Treasurer Mrs. Clifford 
(Louisa) Yell. 


The Eagles Lodge, Aerie 2783 was organized March 7, 1948. 
Louis J. Pignatelli was the first president. The Eagles own their 
own club rooms, located at 321 West 2nd Street, Rock Falls. 

Among the projects which are supported by the Eagles are the 
"Max Baer Heart Fund", and the Damon Runyan Cancer Fund, to 
which the organization of Eagles has been one of the largest contri- 
butors. They have an educational workshop for foreign countries, 
support the Father Cassidy"Home on the Range" for boys and have 
a retirement village known as "Eagle Village" atBradenton, Florida. 

At the local level. Eagles support the community with donations 
to the Community-Youth Building and help with any civic project in 
which they are needed. 

The president for the 1967-68 year is John Waisner. 

This past season the Rock Falls Eagles have been host to the 
Illinois State Bowling Tournament, which brought some 27 bowling 
teams to our community. 

The Rock Falls American Legion Auxiliary Unit #902 was chart- 
ered as an Auxiliary Unit to the Rock Falls American Legion Post 
on January 24th, 1946. There were 24 members on the original 
charter. Rock Falls Unit 902 is located in Whiteside County of the 
13th District and the 2nd Division of the State of Illinois American 
Legion Auxiliary. The first Unit president was Mrs. Merle C. Wolf, 
who. served as president of the charter year of 1946. She was re- 
elected to serve in 1947 and 1951. Mrs. Wolf and other ladies of 
the community saw a need after World War II for an auxiliary unit 
in Rock Falls and therefore set out to charter a unit through the De- 
partment of Illinois and the National American Legion Auxiliary 
Organization. The unit is made up of a senior membership and 
a junior membership. Junior members are those signed into 
membership from birth to 18 years of age. Elective officers of the 
Unit are president, first vice-president, 2nd vice president, treas- 
urer, chaplain, historian and sergeant-at-arms, with the appoint- 
ment of a secretary, assistant sergeant-at-arms and chairman of 

The Unit was formed for the purpose of aiding the American 
Legion in carrying out the great programs to which the American 
Legion is dedicated, plus special programs carried out to aid the 
community, state and nation. One of the main projects of the Amer- 
ican Legion Auxiliary is the great task of caring for the disabled 
Veterans of the Wars who are hospitalized and assisting them to 
regain their place in life, through the rehabilitation programs. The 

major projects of an auxiliary unit to which Rock Falls Unit 902 
works towards are Americanism, Child Welfare, Civil Defense, 
Emergency Planning, Community Service, Education and Scholar- 
ships, Foreign Relations, Girls State, Junior Activities, Legisla- 
tive, National Security, Poppy Sales and Rehabilitation Program. 
The officers for 1967 are: President Mrs. Wm. Mills (Alice); 
1st Vice-President Mrs. Marvin (Marilyn) Beck; 2nd Vice-Presi- 
dent Mrs. Quintcn (Arietta) Harms; Secretary Mrs. Willis (Jean) 
Ahrens; Treasurer Mrs. Walter (Dolores) Hoerle; Chaplain Mrs. 
Donald (Maxine) Geiger; Historian Mrs. Marion (Barbara) Franks; 
Sergeant-at-arms Mrs. John (Doris) Olson. The 13th District His- 
torian Mrs. Lee F. Wolfe, is also from Rock Falls. 


A number of the members of Advance Lodge No. 590 of the In- 
dependent Order of Odd Fellows of Rock Falls, met with their wives 
and daughters on February 13, 1888, to receive the Rebekah Degree. 

Brother B. Gurtizen conferred the Degree on Brothers Warren 
Cole, John A. Rae, E.W. Slater, John Isherwood, H.P. Price, 
J.D. Montague and on Mrs. Ellen Burdick, Mrs. Nettie Cole, Mrs. 
Lizzie Rae, Mrs. Ella Slater, MissM.F. Price, Mrs. Mary Ish- 
erwood and Mrs. Whitney. 

A charter was granted February 27, 1888. Mr. Charles Bent of 
Morrison, instituted the lodge with assistance of members from 
Morrison and Sterling. 

Grand Noble Mrs. Nettie Cole, Vice Grand Mrs. Belle Worman, 
Recording Secretary Mrs. Lizzie Rae, Financial Secretary Mrs. 
Mary Isherwood, Treasurer Mrs. Ellen Burdick. 

The lodge meets the second and fourth Monday nights of each 
month. The Rebekah Lodge is a fraternal order and like the Advance 
Lodge, is non-sectarian, non-partisan, non-political and non-profit. 
It follows the teachings of Friendship, Love and Truth. The Lodge 
helps support Old Folks Home, Children's Homes, Odd Fellows, 
World Eye Bank and Visual Research Foundation. They participate 
in the United Nation Pilgrimage for Youth Tours, when students 
from every state of the United States and Canada spend one week in 
New York studying the United Nations. 

Locally they support the community fund drives and local pro- 
jects such as Red Cross, Heart'Fund, Cancer, etc. 

The 1967 officers are: Grand Noble Mrs. John Sprankle, Vice- 
Grand Mrs. Helen Willhite, Recording Secretary Mrs. Troy Baker, 
Financial Secretary Mrs. Harry Insley and Treasurer Mrs. Glenn 


Girl Scouting has a thirty year history in Rock Falls, beginning 
in 1936 when Miss Elizabeth Hamilton and Miss Isabel Johnston or- 
ganized an Intermediate troop at Merrill School. 

In 1943, Mrs. M.L. Skelton (Dee) started a Brownie Troop at 
Thome School for girls ages 7 to 10 years. She was assisted by 
Mrs. Floyd Humphrey (Harriet) and later by Mrs. Harvey Engle- 
hardt (Rose). By 1945, several other Brownie Troops were organ- 
ized and another Intermediate troop. 

With the growth of scouting in Rock Falls, it was deemed neces- 
sary to have a Rock Falls Council. This was formed in 1946. Mrs. 
M.L. Skelton was the first president; Werdell Clark, Vice-Presi- 
dent; Samuel Rubin, Finance Chairman; Mrs. F.F. (Fern) Morri- 
son, Secretary; Otis J. Humphrey, Treasurer. Elmer Leusby was 
organization chairman; Mrs. Mervin (Marian) McNinch, Program 
Chairman; Clare Hayward, Registrar; Jack Adair, Publicity; Mrs. 
James Kelsey (Claretta), Chairman of the nominating committee. 

The first Day Camp was held in 1945 at Sinnissippi Park, when 
the Rock Falls Council joined with the Sterling Council and hired 
Mrs. Caretta Younglove of Clinton as the camp director. 

In 1947, the Rock Falls Girl Scouts invited Tampico Scouts to 
join them in camping on the Glenn Schutt farm. Mrs. Leo Nelson 
and Mrs. Vernie Anderson of Rockford were the directors. 

Following this, the Council rented the Sterling Scout Camp for 
several years. They also did camping at Sinnissippi Park, several 

Many community projects were sponsored by the troops. Trees 
were planted at Nims Park near the canal. In 1947 and 1948, they 
conducted many drives to collect grease to help relieve the soap 

shortage. Many waste paper collections were held. The money de- 
rived from these projects was divided among the troops. The Inter- 
mediate troops sold oranges as a community activity, with the 
money being contributed to the March of Dimes campaign. 

The troops have delivered Cancer posters, sold TB seals, pre- 
sented Christmas wreaths to various churches and sang carols 
around the community Christmas tree. They have sold Girl Scout 
cookies and calendars to make money for their own troop. At the 
present time, some are doing community work at the hospital once 
a month. Their activities have traditionally been numerous over 
the years . 

The girls entertained their fathers at Father -Daughter banquets 
and later were hostesses to their mothers at teas. 

In 1963, the Rock Falls Girl Scouts disbanded their Council and 
joined the Green Hills Council of Girl Scouts, Inc. They are now in 
the Singing Meadows Neighborhood, which includes Rock Falls and 


In 19i5, a group of interested, future-looking men, organized 
into a group known as the Rock Falls Business Association. It was 
felt that an organization of this kind was needed for the purpose of 
gaining community spirit in Rock Falls. 

The first regular meeting was held in January with Otis Humph- 
rey being elected President. Joe Sullivan, Vice-President; Henry 
Kaup, Secretary, N.L. Mowrer, Treasurer. Directors elected 
were: Jack Adair, W.J. Sowles, Al Hoffmiller, Fay Overley, Wil- 
liam Hines, Ma.x Hill and Leonard Gartner. 

One of the first needs of the community they felt, was to get a 
bank started in Rock Falls. They lost no time in getting this pro- 
ject going and November 25, 1945, the National Bank opened in 
Rock Falls. 

In April of 1946, the first Rock Falls Business Association 
Minstrel Show was held at the Merrill School. This began an annual 
event for the next ten years, with the proceeds of these shows be- 
ing put into a special building fund. This fund formed the nucleus 
for the Community Youth Building which was dedicated in April of 

In August of 1946, the Business Association was instrumental in 
backing the Rock Falls Township High School Board in obtaining the 
piece of property which is now known as "Hinders Field", and used 
as the High School Athletic Field. This property belonging to the 
Barrets was procured knowing it was to be used for a Civic Pur- 
pose, therefore they were willing to sell to the High School Board. 
The Business Association paid for laying out the plans for the field. 

Other plans that were laid by this group, however, not completed 
by them, but which have been completed since their time, includes 
the Whiteside County Airport south of Rock Falls. 

The purchasing of a piece of property on Eighth Avenue, which 
was used for a time for a park, and later deeded to the city of Rock 
Falls so the deeds could be sent to Springfield, showing Rock Falls 
had a piece of property on which to build the Illinois National Guard 
Armory which is now on this piece of land. 

The Business Association during its existance, started a Civic 
Fund in Rock Falls which provided funds for the Boy Scouts, Girl 
Scouts, Good Fellows, Youth Council and Community Building. The 
Civic Fund was later joined with the Community Chest Program and 
is today part of the Community Chest with portions of the funds 
coming to the Rock Falls side of the river. 

A Youth Council was formed in 1946, which worked with the 
grade and high school students at that time. Part of the activities of 
the Youth Council were hobby clubs and teen-dances which were 
held in the Rock Falls American Legion Home. The Youth Council 
continued to direct youth activities in Rock Falls, sponsoring Senior 
High School Banquets, Parades, May Pole Dances, etc., until 
about 1951. 

The work of the Youth Council since has been taken over by 
Orvel Howard and the Illinois Youth Commission. 

The Rock Falls Business Association, members incorporated 
into the membership of the Rock Falls Chamber of Commerce, and 
the Chamber, now has become the head of the community's active 
community spirit. 


In 1956, the Rock Falls Business Association ceased to function 
and a group of 26business men met in the basement of a local bus- 
iness for the purpose of organizing a Rock Falls Chamber of Com- 

On September 18, 1956, the Rock Falls Chamber of Commerce 
was incorporated and also on that date received its charter from 
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

The first Chamber office was located iij the Illinois Kitchen 
Center, located at 813 First Avenue, operated by Mr. F.F. Mor- 
rison. Mrs. Fern Morrison was appointed as part time secretary. 
After several years in this location, the Illinois Kitchen Center 
moved to 217 First Avenue and the Chamber moved with it. 

On September 1, 1962, Mrs. Morrison resigned and at that time 
the organization had grown to 100 paying members. 

On September 1, 1962, Mr. Lewis J. Walker was hired as the 
first full time Chamber of Commerce executive, and the office was 
moved to new quarters over theS & K Clothing Store. During these 
past six years, the Chamber of Commerce has operated with the 
Rock Falls name on the Sterling Chamber of Commerce organiza- 
tion. On April 1, 1963, the Rock Falls Chamber of Commerce came 
into its own by securing the removal of their name from the Sterl- 
ing Chamber. 

From 1962 through 1966, the Chamber of Commerce has con- 
tinued to grow to 200 members. It has now moved into modern up- 
to-date quarters in the Community-Youth Building in the city. The 
growth of the Rock Falls Chamber has been slow, but on solid 
ground. It will be working for Rock Falls in the future. 

The jiistory of the Rock Falls Chamber of Commerce would not 
be complete without the names of the past presidents. They are: 
Dwaine Tompkins, 1956-1957; Robert Deitz, 1957-1958; Lowell 
Wechsler, 1958-1959; Dr. Donald Wilkin, 1959-1960; F.F. Morri- 
son, 1960-1961; Donald Allen, 1961-1962; Orville Thome, 1962- 
1963; Wm. Nordstrom, 1963-1964; Robert Wilkens, 1964-1965; 
Arlyn Lawrence, 1965-1966; Robert Stetson, 1966-1967. 

The officers of the Chamber for 1967-1968 are: Edward Klocke, 
President; Rev. E.A. Henrichs, Vice-President; Robert Colborn, 
Treasurer; Robert Stetson; Ray Moulton; Orville Thome; Robert 
Wilkens; Kenneth Wike; Wm. Wadelton; Wayne Beelendorf; Arthur 
Johnson; Henry Hoffman ;Quinten Harms; Lewis J. Walker, Execu- 
tive Director; Irene Taylor, Office Secretary. 


The Lions Club was organized in Rock Falls May 18, 1957 with 
Donald Blodgett as the first president. 

The principal object of the Lions Club is "form a group of dedi- 
cated men who enjoy fellowship, with their main purpose to help 
the blind and those with sight defects". 

The local club has purchased glasses for those less fortunate 
than themselves. They have provided dogs for training at the Leader 
Dog School for the blind in Rochester. 

They have donated to the Hadley School for the blind in Winnetka, 
Illinois. Through the use of these donations, they can send corres- 
pondence courses to the blind all over the world. 

The Lions Club participates in community and civic betterment. 
They have donated to the Community- Youth Building, provided pic- 
nic benches for the local parks. This past year, they have purchased 
bright orange safety jackets for the school patrol children at Dillon 

They provided a lecturn for the recreation room at Garden Circle 
Homes. They have sponsored three teenage shows, which were 
geared to bring entertainment to the city the young people would 
enjoy. They are in the process of making a donation to the city at 
Centennial time. 

With only sixteen members in the club, they are doing a great 
deal for the community and they in return, are getting a great deal 
of satisfaction from this work. 






Crowning of Centennial Queen 
Sammy Koye Orchestra 
Forrest Tabor Gymnasium 



Morning Worship Service at all churches 
Noon - Homecoming Picnics and Church Open House 
1:30 - Antique Cor Parade, begins at Disco Food 
3:00 - Water Fight, FireDept., Municipal Center Parking Lot 
4:00 - Family Bike Tour of Rock Falls 
4:00 - Ralph Thome Travelogue "World's Longest Hunting Trip", 

Basement Community Building 
8:00 - Combined Church Choirs, Interdenominational Religious 

Service. Speaker. Hinder's Memorial Field 



Exhibits (Daily) Historical Museum, Art Exhibit I.O.O.F. Hall 

Hospitality Center - Community Building (Daily) 

Conservation Show - Old City Hall Parking Lot (Doily) 

Sow Mill - Threshing Machine - Baler 

(Threshing every hour on the hour - Daily) 
9:00 - Centennial Opening Salvo Aerial Bombs, Blowing of Whistles, 

Ringing Church Bells, etc. 
9:15 - Opening Ceremonies at Veteran's Memorial Park 
10:00 - Hospitality CenterwelcomesSr. Citizens &Former Residents 
11:00 - Ralph Thome Travelogue in Basement Community BIdg. 
12:00 - Mayor's Reception and Luncheon for visiting Dignitaries, 
Rock Falls Community Building 
1:00 - Opening of Mid-Way and Rides, 12th Ave. Show Grounds 

Opening Children's Concessions, Old City Hall Parking Lot 
1:30 - Parade - Floats, Bonds, Dignitaries 
7:30 - Horse Shoe Tournament at Lawrence Pork 
8:30-11 Street Dance, Rock Falls Notional Bank Parking Lot 



Historical Museum, Art Exhibit, Hospitality Center, Conservation 
Show, Old and New Form Equipment Display at Urban Renewal Ground 
Saw Mi 1 1 -Threshing Machine - Baler (Threshing every hour on the hour) . 
9:00 - Open House and Tour of Community Building 
1 1:00 - Dedication of New Terminal Building for Whiteside County 

12:00 - Governor's Luncheon at Community Building 

Service Clubs Open House - Eagles - Legion 
1:30 - Governor's Parade 
2:30 - Governor receives Pony Express 
4:00 - Municipal Bond Concert at Veterans Memorial Park 
4:00 - Service Club Contests (to be announced) 
4:00 - Ralph Thome Travelogue in Basement Community BIdg. 
8:00 - Barbershoppers at Hinder's Field 
8:30 - Premier performance "Spanning a Century" 

Fireworks Display 



Historical Museum, Art Exhibit, Hospitality Center, Conservation 

Show, Old and New Form Equipment Display. Saw Mill - Threshing 

Machine - Baler. 

7 to 9:30 White Collar Girls Breakfast in American Legion Hall 
10:30 - Costume Contest at Jr. High School Gym 
10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. - Floral, Croft and Hobby Display at Community 

Building Auditorium 

11:00 - Ralph Thome Travelogue in Community BIdg. 

11:30 - Ladies Luncheon in Methodist Church 

1:00 - Birthday Coke at Bank Parking Lot 

1:30 - Parade of Belles 

3:00 - Style Show and Old-Fashion Tea, at Vet. Memorial Park 

4:30 - Promenade to downtown 

8:30 - Sweet Adelines at Hinder's Field 

8:30 - Spectacular "Spanning a Century" - Fireworks 



Historical Museum, Art Exhibit, Hospitolity Center, Conservation 

Show, Old and New Farm Equipment Display. Saw Mill - Threshing 

Machine - Baler. 

Plant Visitations 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Information at DeKalb Feeds 
10:00 - Agriculture Display at Urban Renewal Ground 
12:00 - Executive Luncheon Agriculture and Industry Community BIdg. 

1:30 - Mile Long Parade of Machinery 

4:00 - Bicycle Race at Wallingford Pork 

4:00 - Ralph Thome Travelogue, Community Building 

8:00 - Barbershoppers at Hinder's Field 

8:30 - Spectacular "Spanning a Century" - Fireworks 



Historical Museum, Art Exhibit, Hospitality Center, Conservation 

Show, Old and New Farm Equipment Display. Saw Mill - Threshing 

Machine - Baler. 

9:00 - Softball Gomes at Dillon, Wallingford and Optimist Pork and 

Rock Falls High School 
10:00 - Baby Contest at Community Building 
1:30 - Youth Porode beginning at 3rd Ave. and W. 2nd St. past 

reviewing stand to Veteran's Memorial Park 
2:30 - Field and Sport Events at the Parks 

3:30-5 Hot Rod Rally - Driver's Skill Test at Rock Falls High School 
4:00 - Ralph Thome Travelogue - Community Building 

00-1 1 Square Dance at Armory 

00-12 Teen Age Dance at Municipal Center Parking Lot 

00 - Barbershoppers at Hinder's Field 

30 - Spectacular "Spanning a Century" - Fireworks 



Historical Museum, Art Exhibit, Hospitality Center, Conservation 

Show, Old and New Farm Equipment Display. Sow Mill - Threshing 

Machine - Baler. 

9:00 - First Aid Exhibit at Veteran's Memorial Park 

9:00 - Military Displays and Exhibits 

10:00 - Row Boat Race on Conol 

10:30 - Award to Oldest man and woman with continuous residence in 
Rock Falls and award to former resident coming the longest 
distance. Community Building 

1 1:00 - Time Capsule to be buried at Riverside Pork 
Unveiling of Lions Memorial 

12:00 - Veteran and Fraternal Luncheon at American Legion 
1:30 - Gigantic Parade. Floats - Bonds, etc. 
4:00 - Ralph Thome Travelogue in Community Building 
4:30 - Presenting Awards at Reviewing Stand 
6:00 - Beard Elimination at Hinder's Field 
7:45 - Beard Judging and Brothers of Brush "Shave-Off" 
8:30 - Spectacular "Spanning a Century" - Fireworks 

Mid-Way Shows and Children's Concessions open every 

afternoon and evening. 
Parade Route Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 
Beginning at Industrial Park or on E. 11th Street, down First Avenue 
to West 2nd Street to the High School . 

Children's Parade starts at 3rd Ave. and W. 2nd St. to Veteran's 
Memorial Park. 


President and Active Chairman Orville Thome 

Vice President Mrs. John Sumption 

Treasurer Frank Reichardt 

Secretary Lewis Walker, Jr. and Irene Taylor, Assistant 

Headquarters Chairman Frank Stephenson 


Historical Program - Mrs. Wm. Montgomery 

Novelties - Dale Humphrey 

Celebration Ball - Susan Miniel & Dr. E. Orval DeWeerth 

Concessions - Calvin Morgan 

Brothers of the Brush - Robert Wllkens 
Men's Hats and Ties - Ross Lennox 
Promenade and Caravan - Earl Bennett 
Kangaroo Court - Tony Arduini 

PARTICIPATION DIVISION - Ladies, Mrs. John Sumption 
Celebration Belles - Ethel Degnon 
Ladies Sunbonnets - Mrs. Wm. Heide 
Promenade and Caravan - Mrs. DuWayne Tompkins 
Kangaroo Court - Mrs. Glen Wicks 


The members of the non-revenue material committee of the Histor- 
ical Program were Rev. & Mrs. Donald Ward, Mr. & Mrs. Frank 
Reichardt, Werdell Clark, Mervln McNInch, Madeleine Nuttall and 
Walter Stlgoll. Others assisting In gathering material, editing and 
typing and otherwise preparing for publication were Forrest Gelsinger, 
Mrs. Harry Bohms, Mrs. M.L. Skelton, Mrs. Fred Hinrichs, Harry 
.Smith, Earl Forehand, Betty Brown, Charles Smith, Mrs. Herbert Roth, 
Mr. & Mrs. James Tyne, Ben Jokerst, Joanne Edeus, Wayne Cleveland 
and Mrs. Larry Pettenger. 

Linus Stephenson was the photographer for new pictures and many 
of the old pictures were taken by Fred G. Jurgens and Victor Goodrich. 

Thanks are also due to the many people who loaned history books, 
scropbooks, pictures and other items of interest for the book. 

The Program Advertising Solicitation Chairman was Robert Thome. 

The Program Sales Committee Chairman was Ronald Hasselman and 
the Joy Cee's. 

The Official Centennial Seal and the cover of the historical book- 
let were designed by Verna Ward. 

The official centennial colors of green and white was the prize 
winning suggestion of Mrs. Wm. Heide. 

The name for the spectacular "Spanning the Century" was the prize 
winning suggestion of Mrs. DuWayne Tompkins. 

Tickets - Gilbert Moothart 
Advance Sales - Marcel la Ingold 
Nominations - Mrs. Alan Chronlster 
Awards - Mrs. Orville Thome 
Arrangements - Pauline Howe 
Patrons Tickets - Isadore Rubin 
Cashier and Gates - Mrs. Donald Finch 
Audience Area - Bruce McDonald 

SPECTACLE DIVISION - Floyd Corl and Lee Wolfe 
Scenario - Mrs. Frank Reichardt 
Cost - Morlene Dykeman 
Properties - Ralph Fluck 
Construction - John Dussler 
Costume and Makeup - Mrs. George Billeaux 
Grounds - James Henley 

Press Release - Linus Stephenson 
Distributive - Peter Ternetti 

SPECIAL EVENTS DIVISION - Henry Bright and Paul Simpson 

Merchants Promotion - Al Klocke 

Historical Windows and Museum - DuWayne Tompkins 

Parades - Marion Franks 

Music - Maurice Russell 

Pioneer Events - Lester Chapman 

Special Days - Mr. & Mrs. Austin Corzett 

Hospitality Center - Clare Hayward 

Traffic and Safety - Russell Maynard 

Transportation - Gene Stewart 

Pony Express - Paul Simpson 

Beautificatlon - Mrs. Glenn Pohly 

There have, of course, been many, many others serving on all the 
above named committees. The work of all these 'behind the scenes' 
people is most necessary and greatly appreciated. Thanks must go to 
all the volunteer helpers at the Centennial Headquarters under the 
chairmanship of Mrs. Wm . Heide. 


Friday & Saturday, July 28 & 29 
"Old Fashioned Bargain Days" Chairman - Al Klocke 

Sunday, July 30 

"Antique Car Parade" Chairman - Kent Detweiler 

"Religious Heritage Days" Chairman - Rev. Henrichs 

Monday, July 31 
"Pioneer and Homecoming Day" ... Chairman - Mr. &Mrs. ByersYeager 

Tuesday, August 1 
"Governor's Day" Chairman - Bruce Winans 

Wednesday, August 2 
"Ladies Day" Chairman - Margaret Sumption 

Thursday, August 3 
"Agriculture Day" Chairman - Royal McCormick 

"Industry Day" Chairman - Robert Stetson 

Friday, August 4 
"Youth Days" Chairman - Bruce McDonald 

Saturday, August 5 
"Veterans, Armed Forces Day" Chairman - Winifred Baker 

Every Day 

Conservation Exhibit Ed Petroshek & Harry Smith 

Parade Marshal , Every Day Marion Franks 

Centennial Books by 




Name of Chapter 
Beauty Belles 
Becky Belles (Rebekos) 
Belles of St. Andrews 
Belles of the Lions 
Belies Top Hat 
Bowling Bags 
Bonny Belles (Pilot) 
Bustles and Bows 
Busy Bees (Woman's Club) 
Camp Belles 
Centennial Squares 
Centennial Stars (OES) 
Century Sisters 
Chapel Belles (Congregational 

Chatter and Stitch 
Christian Belles (Christian Church) 
Church Belles (Immanuel Lutheran) 
Community Belles (Hospital) 
Country Belles 

Ding Dong Down Town Belles 
Falling Garter Belles 
Fancy Garter Queens 
Feather Duster Belles 
Fire Belles (Insurance) 
Frontier Fillies 
Gilded Garters (High School) 
Happy Humers (Woman's Club) 
Hippy Hips (Thome School) 
Hustlin Bustles (LDS) 
Jr. Litter Bug Patrol Leaders 
King's Daughter Belles 
Lazy Belles (Woman's Club) 
Lu La Belles 
Lusty Lassie 
Money Bags (Bank) 
Montmorency Cherries 
Nutty Belles 
Odd Belles 
Pioneer Videoettes 
Pistol Packin Mamas (Legion Aux.) 
Rapid City Belles 
Royal Belles (Royal Neighbors) 
School Belles (Elementary) 
Spanish Queens 
Tardy Belles (Merrill) 
Utilities Belles 
Wagon Train Belles 
Wives of the Wheelers 
Ye Town Criers 

Mrs. Ed Colville (Joyce) 
Mrs. Ivan Baker (Fanny) 
Mrs. Chas. VanWassenhove 
Mrs. Walter Hoger (Dee) 
Mrs. Harold Carolus (Dorothy) 
Mrs. Sam Mylin (OIlie) 
Mrs. Elmer Janssen (Ethel) 
Mrs. Wayne Spencer (Joan) 
Mrs. Gordon Rhyne (Darlene) 
Mrs. James Eshleman (Helen) 
Mr?. Wm. E. Bennett (Violet) 
Mrs. Wm. Ebenezer (Catherine) 
Mrs. Robert Thome (Judy) 
Mrs. McGinn (Joyce) 

Mrs. Harold Holcomb (Martha) 

Mr^. Edw. O. Cedro (Susie) 

Mrs. Lester Pierson (Audri) 

Mrs. George Polte (Gertrude) 

Mrs. Hubert Aumon (Shirley) 

Mrs. Leroy Genz (Betty) 

Mrs. Ray Moulton (Roy) 

Mrs. Raymond Kulas (Juanna Lee) 

Mrs. Don Cole (Shelley) 

Marlene Lewis 

Ann Bonadurer 

Mrs. Wm. Wescott (Betty) 

Mrs. Larry Chidley (Agnes) 

Mrs. Harold Smith (Marion) 

Mrs. Ellsworth Wolf, Jr. (Katie) 

Mrs. Jack Henson (Eunice) 

Mrs. Frank Apple (Moble) 

Mrs. Earl George (Minnie) 

Mrs. Harold Detweiler (Gen) 

Mrs. Clark Hoot (Gen) 

Mrs. Barry Tompkins (Marge) 

Miss Pauline Howe 

Mrs. Dale Humphrey (Carol) 

Mrs. Larry Wyatt (Dona) 

Mrs. Ken Olson (Lila) 

Sarah Fry 

Mrs. Donald Geiger (Maxine) 

Mrs. Russel Burger (Joan) 

Mrs. Joyce Worehime 

Joan Sell 

Susana Miniel 

Mrs. Dwayne Ettinger (Lucy) 

Mrs. Kenneth Schultz (Viola) 

Mrs. John Herrin (Joyce) 

Mrs. Richard Appenzeller (Betty) 

Mrs. Alfred Pace (Vivian) 

Mrs. Lyie Bressler (Betty) 

Mr?. Otis Humphrey (Lucille) 

GRAND PRIZE - Simca 1000 Deluxe Automobile- Honk Bright Motors, 
Disco Foods, DeKalb Feeds, Paul Reynolds Citgo 
Service, Mills Auto Body, Poci's Tavern. 
New York - 3 days, 2 nights - Pepsi Cola Co. , 
Stewart Bev. Co. Distr., Sterling, Morrison Travel 

Centennial Bellettes 
Fortune Belles 
Frontier Belles 
Little Miss Belles 
Little Snatchers 
Twinkle Belles 


Teresea Licocci 
Melissa Thome 
Goyle Shoffner 
Sheila Hardy 
Susan Berge 
Julie Kay Eshler 

Inc., Sterling, TWA, Ozark Ai 
rence & Sons, Inc. and Gigs Pi 


2 pes. Samsonite Luggage 

2 pes. Samsonite Luggage 

$25.00 Gift Certificate 

$25,00 Gift Certificate 

Portable TV 

$5.00 Gift Certificate 

$5.00 Gift Certificate 

$20.00 Cash 

Natural Mink Boa 

$25.00 Gift Certificate 

2 - Transistor Radios 

V.H. Low- 

7 Boxes Hose - 1 Peignoir set 
$20.00 Gift Certificate 
Sarah Coventry Jewelry Set 

$25.00 Check 

Necklace & Earring Set 

$10.00 Gift Certificate 

Shoes & Matching Horxibag 

Turquoise Footstool 


Berkliner Footstool 



Shorts & Blouse 

Transistor Radio 

Regence Set 

Blast Jacket 
Transistor Radio 
Half Slip 
Bathroom Scale 
Shari Bath Set 

Transistor Radio and 

Electric Toothbrush 
Electric Handmixer 
Ladies Billfold 
Transistor Radio 
Hip Huggers & Blouse 
Corning Ware 

Jewelry Set 
Wall Mirror 
$10.00 Savings Account 

Sowles, Rock Falls 

Bradley's Inc. , Sterling 

Klines, Sterling 

Chester's, Sterling 

Deem & Rick, Rock Falls 

Scott Store, Sterling 

Scott Store, Rock Falls 

Rocket Trailer Soles, Rock Falls 

Rhomberg Furs, Rockford 

DeAnne's, Sterling 

Sunray D-X Oil Co., Terre 

Haute, Ind. 

Spergeons, Sterling 

Bowman's, Sterling 

Linda Thurm, Branch Mgr., 

Rock Falls 

P &W Supply, Dixon 

Stene's Jewelry, Sterling 

Schiff Shoes, Sterling 

Family Shoe Store, Rock Falls 

Wheelocks, Rock Foils 

Moultons Drugs, Rock Falls 

George Furniture, Sterling 

Comera Center, Rock Falls 

Harold's Furniture, Rock Falls 

Fashionaire, Sterling 

Dietz Bros. Paint Store, Rock 


Doria Thome, Avon Rep., Rock 


S & K Clothing, Rock Falls 

Gambles, Rock Falls 

Sterling Fashion, Sterling 

Yohr Lange Drug Co., Rockford 

Bardo Rexall Drug Co., Rock 


McKesson Robbins Drug Co. , 


Goodyear Store, Sterling 

Daggetts Jewel Box., RockFolls 

Allen's TV, Rock Falls 

Glory Bee Apparel, Rock Falls 

Hurdles Hardware, Rock Falls 

Gerdes Jewelry, Sterling 

Gehrings, Sterling 

Kurtz Glass, Rock Falls 

Rock Falls Savings and Loan 


The Centennial Queen Awards Committee was Mrs. Orville Thome, 
Chairman; Mrs. Robert Devers, Mr^. Fred Pyse, Jr. and Mr?. Edward 
Moron . 




1 Disco Foods 

2 Thomeway Lines 

3 RF Post Office Emp. 

Rock Falls High School 
General Dist. Co. 
RB&W Shop Workers 
Rock Falls Lions Club 
RB&W Office Workers 


Rock Falls Opt. Club 
Rock Falls School 
Dist. 13 


The Fuzzy Fourteen 

The Mangy Manes 

Uncle Sam's Shagy 

Civil Service 


The Grizzly Generals 

Roaring Sixteen 

First Ave. Hairy's 

Optimist Toppers 
Itching Educators 

Dick DeFoe 
Robert Thome 

Russell Rank 
Fred Ripple 
John Hoffmiller 
James Eshleman 
Harold Geiger 
William Wodeltor 
Ken Wasson 
Melvin Schuldt 
Vernon Williams 
Jerry Stanley 



Rock Falls American Bushmen 

Carstensen Frt.Lii 
Jr. Boys Litter 
Bag Patrol 

St. Andrews 
RF Rotary Club 

Immanuel Lutheran 

Morion Franks 

Whiskered Wheelers Merle Halgren 
Litter Snatchers Eddie Berge 

Barnacle Bills Barry Tompkins 

All Around Town Kings Donald Cole 

St. Andrews Saints Robert Whitebread 

Rotary Wheels 
Little Boy's Brushes 
Brush Boys 
Brothers of Brush 
Barber Dodgers 

Donald Ward 
Ed Johnson 
Wayne Simpson 
Bruce Drain 
Larry K. Wyatt 

Official Rock Falls Centennial Beverage 

The girls 
girl-watchers watch 

drink Diet Pepsi with only 
one calorie 

Distributed By 

Beverage Co. 

1507 IVest 4th. 
Sterling, Illinois 

Wherever there are girls, there are girl-watchers. 

That's why Diet Pepsi-Cola is so popular. 

It's the one low-calorie drink that tastes 

good enough to be your steady drink. It has 

a bright, sparkling taste. Honest-to-Pepsi taste. 

That's why its last name is Pepsi-Cola. 

Try it. Someone will be watching. 



Official Rock Falls Centennial Beverage 

©1966, PepsiCo, I 

Pepsi-Cola cold 
beats any cola cold! 

Drink Pepsi cold-the colder the better Pepsi-Cola's taste 
was created for the cold.That special Pepsi taste comes 
alive in the cold. Drenching, quenching taste that never 
gives out before your thirst gives in. Pepsi pours it on 

Distributed By 

Taste that 
beats the 
others cold. 
pours it on! 

Stswart Beverage Co 

1307 West 4th 
Sterling. Illinois 









Written, Produced and Directed By 


Script Continuity By 


AUGUST 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5, 1967 
8:30 P.M. 


I wish to thank and acknowledge, through this Centennial 
Booklet, the cooperation given to me by those working on 
Centennial Committees and participating in the pageant 
"Spanning A Century." 

Without your help, we could not have had a 100th Anni- 
versary Celebration. 

General Chairman 


Hank Bright Motor Sales, for the Official Centennial Car 
which has been used by Mr. Terry Rowel I during Centennial 

Leonor Mobile Home Sales, managed by Orrin Grove, for 
the use of the trailer furnished for nine weeks for Mr. 
Rowel I while in Rock Falls. 

Designer of the Centennial Seal, Mrs. Verna A. Ward. 


NARRATORS: Maurice L. Russell, Dale J. Humphrey, P.C. Swonson, Jr., 
Rut-h M. Deem, Shirley Swanson, Judy M. Thome. The Rock River: Fay 
Overlay. The Boy: Mark Hinders: 

Color Guard: Jock Spencer, Jerry Wolfe, Ted NIcklaus, Kenny Latta. Boy 
Scouts: Louis Rodrigues, Kirby Franks, Robert Carter, Steve Van Horn, Don 
Auman, Nathan Fry, Jock Von Horn, Roger Van Horn, Tony Fry, Don Chris- 
Han, David Yonk, Allen Payne, Andy Paul Miller, Jr. Girls: Linda Jones, 
Jenny Nailor, Brendo Jones, Christ! Wimken, Katherlne Boze, Debra Lathrop, 
Becky Charleston, HoUy Hummel, Janet Cater, Tammy Wolzfelt, Debbie 
Mealor, Jody Gray, Kathy Engel, Michaeleen Thome, Debbie Fiegel, Karen 
Hogelstein, Robyne Dawdy, Cathy Church, LuAnne Meenen, Nancy Simester, 
Dawn Pyse, Lori Houston, Ellen Ward, Linda Morden, Rhonda Zink, Vicki 
Zink, Joyce Itken, Sue Siperly, Beth Nailor, Karen LaFavre, Sandy Word. 

Chief Blackhawk: Carl Rodekamp. Isaac Merrill: Howard Larson. Edward 
Atkins: Ben Jokerst. Augustus P. Smith: Lawrence Wolber. Circuit Riding 
Minister: Larry Wooster. Early Settlers: From Episode V. AnastascioSturtevant: 
Mary Arduini. School Children: From Episode VII. Doughboy: John W. Boehm. 
The Kid: Kevin Arduini. 

Urban Martenson, Mrs. Dale Humphrey, Steven Humphrey, Mr. and Mrs 
Harry Olson, Burton Ferguson, Mrs. Vicky Cole, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Bennett 
Bert Epps, Marilyn Whitmer, Iris Hermes, Johanna Walker, Mr. and Mr 
AdamYoeckel, Mr. and Mrs, Ralph Clark, Mr. and Mrs. Victor V. Hart 
Gladys Hermes, Mr. and Mrs. OrviHe Hopkins, George Birdsall, Marcellc 
Ingold, Raymond Lattimer. Pioneer Man: Rev. Donald Ward. Pioneer Children 
Bill Davis, Frank Pierce, Richard Rieck, Allen Bohms, Todd Lattimer, Bradle) 
Pursell, Jeffrey Lattimer, Mark Thome, Tim Lee Shoffner, Craig Tompkins 
Kim McBride, Jill Humphrey, Jill Dillon, Jill Johnston, Michaeleen Thome, 
Gayle Lynn Shoffner, TonI Poci. 

The Minister: Rev. Fred Anderson. The Cross: Mr. and Mrs. Paul Kepner, Mr. 
and Mrs. John L. Stern, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Leusby, Mr. and Mrs. Carl E. 
Cox, Mr. and Mrs. David Little, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Leuschke, Mrs. Elwyn 
Stevens, Mrs. Glenn Detweiler, Mr. and Mrs. Arman Gauirapp, Mr. and Mrs. 
Clare Hayward, Mr. and Mrs. Don McNinch, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Weaver, 
Mrs. Dorsey Person, Miss Helen Person, Mr. and Mrs. George W. Faulkner, 
Mr. and Mrs. Glen Myers, Mr. and Mrs. Clark Hoot, Mrs. Fay Overley, Mrs. 
Floyd Corl, Miss Cleora Capp, Mr, and Mrs. Raymond Lair, Mr. and Mrs. 
Ralph Clark, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Harker, Mr. and Mrs. Willis Helt, Barbara 
Gebhardt, Mrs. Wlllard Hughes, Mrs. John Musselman, Mrs. Maurice Russell, 
Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Harker, Mrs. John Jackley and other cast members. 

Sauk and Fox Indians: From Episode IV. Isaac Merrill: Howard Larson. Edward 
Atkins: Ben Jokerst. Noah Merrill: Bernard Scudder. Daniel Brooks: Sherman 
Whaley. W.W. Durant: Bob Stetson. L.H. Woodworth: Edward Conley. Ar- 
temus Worthrngton: Earl Lutyens. Augustus P. Smith: Lawrence Wolber. John 
Are/: Edvins Berzins. 

Chief Blackhawk: Carl Rodekamp, Indian Braves: Chris Allen HInes, David 
Deem, Doug Hand, Greg Pro, Tim Cantrell, Lerry Terronez, Carl Rodekamp, 
Robby Rodekamp, Tim Kyger, Randy Bell. Indian Squaws: Mmes. Gerald Sik- 
kema, J.L. Kelsey, Werdell Clark, Ross Lennox, William G. Helde, Jr., 
Rollin DeSmith, Harry Bohms, Harold Detweiler, Gerald McNItt, Grant Con- 
boy, Herman Oltman, Albert Jensen, Roy Adams, M.L. Skelton, Edw, J. 
Dietz, Russell Welch, Wm. Montgomery and VI Beelendorf. Indian Children: 
Steven Cole, Donnle Cole, Lori Nehrkorn, Debbie Jacobs, Rhonda Rippel, 
Renee Rippel, Sue Schumaker, Susan Stoelens. Indian Girl Dancers: Christy 
Tompkins, Judy Hart, Melissa Gehrke, Melanie Gehrke, Wynne Pyle, Marsha 
Martenson, Sheila Keegan, Cynthia Hayes, Donna Haas, Deborah Haas, 
Constance Knowles, Gayla Henderson, Deb Bonner, Becky Cater, Marsha 
Graddy, Donna Jacobs, Brenda Blackburn, Claire Ruckdeschel , Barb Part- 
ridge, Diann Partridge, Paula Vinson, Diane Wescott, Melissa Thome, Jackie 
Henson, Debbie Jones, Pat Naftzger, Indian Princess Dancer: Paula Gawlow- 
ski (Sharon Dale Dance Studio). 

S,T, Shirley: Werdell Clark. School Girls: Pom Simpson, Karen Dettman, 
Amanda Pod, Christine Simpson, Connie Haas, Jeanlne Gebhardt, Sherrie 
Clevenger. School Boys: Mark Thome, Mike Pro, Kevin Hummel, Jack Gil- 
lette, Tim Boyd, Tom Boyd, Jim King, Jr., Richard Denny, Terry Moore. 

Woman Late for Train: Mrs. Don Jacobs. Her Helper: Tony Poet. Virginia 
Reel Dancers: Mr. and Mrs. Llewellyn J, Meenen, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne 
Larson, Mr. and Mrs. John Haas, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Denny, Mr. and 
Mrs. Don Jacobs, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence McCord, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry 
Downey, Mrs. Palmer Swanson, Jr. , Mrs. Daniel Johnson, Sr. , Mr. and Mrs. 
Dick Clifton, Mr. and Mrs. Loren Weckesser, Mr. and Mrs. William Nord- 
strom, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Schmitt, Mr. and Mrs. MaurlcePoci, Mr. and Mrs. 
Tony J. Pod, Mr. and Mrs. Harold O. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. James Von Hel- 
ton, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Koster, Mr. and Mrs. Donald J. Koehler, Mr. 
and Mrs. Dale Exner, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Edward 
Gale, Mr. William H. Janssen, Mr. and Mrs, Urban Martenson, Mr. and 
Mrs. Don Rosengren, Dr. and Mrs. E.O. DeWeerth, LuAnne Meenen, Mr. 
and Mrs. Walter Schiipp, Denny Jacobs, Mr, and Mrs. Austin Corzett. Old 
Fashioned Children: Rodney Wetzell, Jeff Pope, Michael Saathoff, Rowland 
Koster, Jim Behrens, Philip Nusbaum, Michael Weckesser, John Haas, Jr., 
Erie Swanson, Greg Schmitt, Vlckl Schmitt, Debbie Jacobs, Sue Shumoker, 
Sheila Keegan, Leah Koster, Sue Leesman, Christine Rosengren, Claire Ruck- 
deschel, Dana Weckesser, Carlo Weckesser, Connie Haas, Patricia Rosengren, 
Sonja Swanson, TonI Pod. 

Wagon Master: Harold B. Dodd, Jr. Woman Milking Cow: Mrs. Walter Shof- 
fner. Women Washing Clothes: Mrs. Lowell Williams, Mrs. LenaWIIIman. Men 
with Clothes Line: Raymond Lattimer, Adam Yoeckel. Women Washing Boy: 
Boots Cole, Faye Baker. Boy In Tub: Tim Lee Shoffner. Woman with Red Patch: 
Mrs. Edward Klocke. Pioneer Boy: Mark Thome. Gramps: Walter Shoffner. 
Woman Churning Butter: Mrs. Earl Bennett. Lucy: Mrs. Ethel Degnan. Assis- 
tant Cook: Marcella Ingold. Frank Cushing: Jerry A. Adams. Midwife: Betty 
Adams. Helpers: Mrs. Catherine Van De Mark, Shirley Dodd, Mary Pod . 
Woman Reviver: Mrs. Donald Ward. Accordion Player: Edward Klocke. Fiddle 
Player: Lowell Williams. Banjo Player: Jay Baker. Square Dancers: Mr. and 
Mrs. Frank J, Reichardt, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Shoffner, Mr. and Mrs. Frank 
Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. LeRoy Tompkins, Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Arvola, Eloise 
Gould, Chuck Cummlngs, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Roth, Mr. and Mrs. Tony 
Pod, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley George, Mr. and Mrs. Don Jacobs, Mr. and Mrs. 

W.H. Butler: Ralph Clark. Hymn Singing Women: Mrs. Harold Holcomb, Mrs. 
Walter Shoffner, Nancy Jean Holcomb, Gayle Lynn Schoffner, Mrs, Glen 
Genz, Mrs. Ralph Clark, Mrs. Walter Holcomb. "Deacon Arey": Walter 
Shoffner. Traveler: Austin Corzett. Confederate Officer: Lorry Wolf. Union 
Officer: Roy Dole Megli, Confederate Soldiers: Gary Lee Scott, Glen Genz, 
David Megll, Larry Wolf, Dole Hoyen, Eugene LeFevre, Glen Nelson, Jim 
Ryan, Roy Smith, Jim Hayden, Jay King. Union Soldiers: Elvln Schmitt, 
Donald Waldschmldt, Roy Dale Megli, Robert Deets, Jim Torrence, LeRoy 
Genz, Roy Adams, Ron Ufktn, Orvllle Kuehl, Clarence Bolster, Mike Koeh- 
ler, Ross M, Johnson. Bugler: Dale Larson. Mother: Mrs. John Haas. Towns- 
people: From previous scene. Lincoln: Orvllle Thome. 

********** INTERMISSION ********** 

Lido Rose: Connie Oberbfllig. Quartet: Ronald Harrington, Fred Tintori, Jack 
Renner, Alfred Renner. Picnicers: Mr$. Herman Chapman, Mr. and Mrs. Paul 
Hoffmiller, Mr. and Mrs. Nathan G. Wolf. Woman Left Out: Mr^. Leo Nar- 
dini . Bicycle Couple: Maurice and Alice Wick. Samuel Frank: Dennis Devers. 
Fire Chief: Gale McBride. Firemen: Donald Virtue, John Haas, Lawrence 
Wolber, George Birdsall, Roy Dale Megli, Larry Wolf. The Cops: John Hoff- 
miller, Rick Nordstrom. Golfer: Dav Thome. A. A. Thome: Gene Reider. 
Photographer: Urtan Martenson. Curious Woman: Mrs. Lyie Williamson. Bath- 
ing Beauties: Mrs. Tom Clemenz, Mrs. Roy Scrlvner, Mrs. Frank Evons, Mrs. 
Charles Rosenberg, Mrs. Allen Chronister, Mrs. Jack Henson, Mrs. Gale 
McBride, Mrs. Larry Hart. Winnie Clinkdollor: Mrs. Charles Rosenberry. Life 
Guard: Glen Myers. Little Girl: Kim McBride. Medicine Man: Don Jacobs. 
Can-Can Girls: Cynthia Jones, Chris Tompkins, Karen Bohms, Cheryl Fullmer, 
Janet Hunsberger, Beth Ward. (Sharon Dale Dance Studio). Balloon Woman: 
Mrs. Vernon Johnson and Rhonda. Gay 90's Men and Women: Donna Haas, 
Debbie Haas, Iris Hermes, Dickie Beene, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Reichardt, Mr. 
and Mrs. Paul Kepner, Barney Scudder, Frances Bohms, Ellen Tupy, Ron Gys- 
son, Mary LaFleur, Bert Epps, George Biller, Robert Donaldson, John Hoff- 
miller, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Lair, Mr. and Mrs. George Dudley, Donald 
Virtue, A.L. Dudley, Mr. Charles Cummings, Mrs. James Taets, Mrs. Paul 
D. Miller, Melissa Thome, Mrs. Vernon Johnson, Bonnie Biller, Wilma 
Meiner, Bonnie Cook, Linda Engel, Mrs. Harold Carolus, Mrs. Joyce Herrin, 
Mrs. Shirley Morris, Mrs. Kenny Wilson, Mrs. LeRoy Blatz, Mrs. Robert 
Donaldson, Mrs. Herman Chapman, Gladys Hermes, Iris Hermes, Bert Epps, 
Johnna Walker, Irene Gilman, Eloise Gould, Mr. and Mrs. Urban Marten- 
son, Mr. and Mrs. Don Jacobs, Cleora Capp, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Clark. 
Horseshoe Player: LyIe Williamson. Croquet Players: Mr. and Mrs. John Jack- 
ley. Gay 90's Boys and Girls: Debbie Chapman, Wes Chapman, Barbara Geb- 
hardt, Grace Trudo, Susan Nielsen, JillTrudo, Kim McBride, Vivian Mc Broom, 
Karen Manning, Michoeleen Thome, Rhonda Johnson, Patty Johnson, Lory 
Donaldson, Edward Johnston, Douglas Waldschmidt, Scott Humphrey, Jack 
Johnston, Kurt McBride, Mark Thome, Gory Knopp, Raymond Johnson, Robin 
Hochstetter, Henry Hochstetter, Brett Hochstetter, Jeanine Gebhardt, Pom 
Simpson, Chris Simpson. 

Color Guard: Jack Spencer, Jerry Wolfe, Ted Nicklaus, Kenny Latta. Dough- 
boy; John W. Boehm. Lady in Black: Janet Weaver. Those Who Remember: 
Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon Boehm, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Hines, Mr. and Mrs. 
Glen Genz, Mr. and Mrs. Clair Freeman, Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Kaiser, Eva 
Teterick, Milton Teterick, Mrs. John Haas. 

Charleston Dancers: Ellen Browne, Janice Gehrke, Sue McDonald, Jackie 
Henson, Debbie Knuth, Joan Eshleman, Doug Hand, David Deem, Mark Rig- 
gins, Chris Hines, David Billeoux, Bill Clark. Car Drivers: Floyd Corl, Kent 

W.P.A. Workers: Rev. Fred Anderson, Werdell Clark, Herman H. Oltman, 
Clark Hoot, Paul Weaver, C.K. Hayward, Frank J. Reichardt, Emery McNeil, 
Arman Gaulrapp, Edward Klocke, Orville Harting, Al Hoffmiller, Rev. Don 
Ward, Ronald Hartshorn. 

Mother: Mrs. John Haas. Father: John Haas. Son: Ross M. Johnson. Daughter: 
Donna Haas. Sailor: Don Rosengren. Red Cross Ladies: Mrs. Gerald Sikkema, 
Mrs. Edith Hoster, Mrs. Fred Stindt, Mrs. Raymond Ruckdeschel, Mrs. Geo. 
Polte. Nurse: Mrs. Dale Humphrey. Iwo Jima Men: Jack Spencer, Jerry 
Wolfe, Kenny Lotto, Richard Willhite, Leo Manon, Ted Nicklaus. 

I Bomb: Itself. 

The Teenage Girl: Sandy Parker. Teenagers: Hugo - Chris Hines, Penelope - 
Barb Partridge, Margie - Joan Eshelman, Ursula - Sue McDonald, Harvey - 
Doug Hand, Alice - Jackie Henson, Nancy - Vicki Dettman. Wynne Pyle, 
Debbie Knuth, Margaret Casillos, Rita Rodriguez, Ellen Browne, Dove Bil- 
leoux, Pot Noftzger, Iris Hermes, Bonnie Burger, Morcia Pro, Melisso Thome, 
Sandra Pope, Donna Jacobs, Ruben Alba, Steven Humphrey, Danny Wald- 
schmidt, Doug Knopp, Martin Ramirez, Jr., Gary Poci, Tim Kyger, Joe 
Buckingham, Greg Pro, Randy Hart, Terri Wolf, Gary Buckingham, David 
Deem, Mark Riggins, Claire Ruckdeschel, Sheila Keegan, Mary Johnson, 
Rita Rodriguez, Estelita Rodriguez, Sheryl Hart, Joyce Jourdan, Judy Jourdan, 
Peggy Dietz, Vicki Dettman, Connie Schultz, Janice Gehrke. 

The Rocket: Itself. The Astronaut. 


Theda Bora: Mrs. Barry Tompkins, Rudolph Valentino: Don Oberbillig, Irate 
Husband: Tom Kovodos. 

The Entire Cast. 


The Properties Committee wishes to thank oil those who donated properties 
for the Spectacle. The committee also wishes to thank Harold Smith and Mrs. 
Roy Adams for their assistance in securing properties, and Donald Murray, 
Allen Gillette and James Higgins for collecting and cleaning the guns and 
loading the shells. 

The Spectacle Committee wishes to thank John Dussler and his staff, Jim 
King and his staff and D & W Heating and Sheet Metal for their assistance in 
construction of the stage. 

Division Chairman: Floyd Corl. Co-Chairman: Lee Wolfe. Properties: Ralph 
Fluck. Scenario and Title: Mrs. Frank J. Reichardt. Costumes and Makeup: 
Mrs. George Billeoux. Construction: John Dussler. Grounds: James Hindley. 
Cost Committee: Morlene Dykeman - Chairman, Edna Oberbillig, Gladys 
Pense, Mary Myers, Ethel Janssen, Minerva Hogberg, Janet Oberbillig. 

Charlotte Aper, Liz Beelendorf, Lorraine Dahlstrom, Jane Freeman, Florence 
Guerrieri, Marion Hand, Betty Hanson, Esther Keime, Pat Kissee, Katie 
Klocke, Chorlene Kulas, Phyllis A. Megli, Judy Nehrkorn, Judy Nailor, 
Theresa Rank, Lillian Rohde, Sandra Semester, Janet Stevens, Billie Taylor, 
Judy Thome, Loura Tintori, Margaret Tomkins. 


The Rock Falls Optimist Club was organized April 17, 1947 with 
Irving Weckessor as the first president. 

The club' is very active in philanthropic work for boys and girls. 
They organized and started Babe Ruth Baseball and they sponsor a 
Little League Team. In 1947, they purchased and installed an elec- 
tric score board at the Rock Falls High School Athletic field, at a 
cost of $2300. Recently they have spent$500to repair the board and 
bring it up to date for scoring and time. 

Youth appreciation week is an annual project of the club, with 
the students at Rock Falls High School organizing into two or more 
political parties when they nominate and elect the various city of- 
fices from the mayor on down. 

Elected officials take over the city offices for a day and conduct 
a council meeting. They are dined by the club atone of their regular 
meetings . 

The club sponsors theGAA Dance each fall and pays for the or- 
chestra for the Student Council Dance, at which time admission is 
by food donations, which fill poor baskets. 

Each summer, 15 boys are sponsored for a week at Camp Hau- 
bert, a YMCA camp on the Mississippi River. 

The club contributed $6000 to the Community and Youth Building. 
It is in the process of development on Optimist Park and will con- 
tinue to develop this site for recreational purposes. 

Jim Johnson is the new Optimist President, secretary-treasurer 
is Ross Lennox. 


The Golden Age Club was organized in 1965 with the first pres- 
ident Mrs. Esther Covel. 

This is a very active social club which has many get-togethers 
and pot-luck meetings. They also do many things to help the handi- 
capped . 

Mrs. Ann Richardson is the 1967 president. 


A group of representatives of the churches met Wednesday 
evening, December 15, 1937 in the City Hall with Mayor Fiegley 
and the City Council for the purpose of forming an organization to 
look after our needy at Christmas time . 

Mayor Fiegley called the meeting to order, and explained why 
such an organization was needed. They were also to look after needy 
families during the year. 

Harry Fiegley was elected temporary chairman and Fred Smith 
temporary secretary. 

The first officers were: Chairman Robert Brown; Vice-chair- 
man Rev. Harry Shiffer; Secretary Mrs. Karl Cruse; Treasurer 
L.L. Winn. 

It was moved and seconded the organization be called "Good 
Fellows of Coloma". Mayor Fiegley started the fund with a gift of 
$5.00 in memory of his wife. The first year $189.59 was donated 
and 79 families were helped. 

In 1940, it was voted to discontinue baskets and to give grocery 
certificates. Beginning November 7, 1946, the good fellows were 
included in the Civic Fund and now receive monies from the Com- 
munity Chest. 

The Good Fellows now give in addition to food certificates, 
"Cheer Baskets" to the shut-ins. 

In 1962, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the organization was 
held with several of the original members present. Dick Willhite 
and Harry Insley are both still members of the organization. 

Present officers are: President William Maynard, Vice Chair- 
man Elmer Schultz; Treasurer Mrs. Mervin McNinch and Secretary 
Mrs. Frank Simpson. 

In 1956, a group of boys met with Orval Howard in the recrea- 
tion room of Coloma Homes, which is the local housing authority 
buildings in Rock Falls. This was the beginning of a Youth Center 
which filled a need in the lives of our young people. They would 
meet twice a week for games, movies and fellowship. With the ad- 
dition of equipment provided by the Optimist Club, interest contin- 
ued and girls were included and started attending. Record playing 
and dancing were added to their activities. 

When Mrs . Elizabeth Kontos and sons John and Ted learned that 
the Youth Center had outgrown the recreation room, they offered 
the use of an upstairs room of theirdowntown building in Rock Falls 
at a fee of $1.00 per year. Many hours of donated labor by adults 
and the youngsters in cleaning, painting, plastering, and plumb- 
ing, turned the room into a fine Youth Center facility. The new 
quarters opened October 23, 1957 with over two hundred youth in 
attendance. A membership fee of $1.00 per year plus 10( for each 
night of attendance, was instituted. Monday night was designated 
for junior high students and Wednesday night for high school stu- 
dents . Baskets of food, canned goods for the needy and youth par 
ades were some of the other activities in which the young people 

Attendance continued to grow with a membership of 859 for the 
two nights . It was felt that the Youth Center was outgrowing their 
downtown location. About this time plans were being formulated for 
a Civic Center for all city buildings and it seemed feasible to in- 
clude a community building and a youth center in these plans. The 
Civic Center was acquired by a referendum and the plans included 
a Community- Youth Building as a part of the Center to be built by 
private funds. After much work on a fund drive, the building was 
started and progressed as funds became available. The building was 
completed with furnishings being added as funds could provide them. 
The building is available to the general public for civic meetings 
and functions, and to the youth as a Youth Center. The Youth Cen- 
ter was officially opened in September of 1966 with Orval Howard 
continuing as director. Dancing, shuffle board and table tennis are 
the main activities with a canteen providing refreshments . 


The Women's Christian Temperance Union was organized in 
Rock Falls in 1882 as a member of the tenth district which included 
several counties . 

The W.C.T.U. is a temperance organization which also does 
much welfare work. 

In 1892, the local group was hostess to the 9th Convention. 

Known charter members were: Mrs. L.L. Emmons (Kate), Mrs. 
Lu Worman, Francis Morrell, M.D., Mrs. W.B. Emmons (Fran- 
cis), Mrs. James Harden, Mrs. A. Shirley, Mr. and Mrs. Leitch, 
Mrs. Charles Glasburn, Mrs. Sabana Butler, Miss Mary Whitney, 
Mrs. Fred Whitney, Miss Julia Kline, Mrs. E. Eberley, Mrs. H. 
Warner, Mrs. Nellie Mouck and Mrs. B.H. Gray. 

Mrs. P.H. Pohly, who joined in 1931, was an active member 
until her death in 1964 at the age of 100. 

The 1967 officers are: Mrs. Fred Humphrey, President; Mrs. 
George Hinrichs, Vice-President; Mrs. Fred Reinhart, Secretary; 
and Mrs. Arthur Purdue, Treasurer. 



Through the efforts of Gunner Bensen and several other persons, 
an organizational meeting for the Historical Society was held Feb- 
ruary 27, 1959 in the Sterling Y.M.C. A. 

The organization was chartered on May 19, 1959, with forty-one 
members. A constitution was adopted and the first officers were: 
Gunner Benson, President; Dick Metcalfe, Vice-President: Made- 
leine Nutall, Secretary and Lloyd Elfline, Treasurer. 

Records have been found of the first Whiteside County Historical 
Society, which was organized in 1903 with W.W. Davis as Secretary. 

The Historical Society plans are: Marking local historical sites; 
Photographing source materials pertaining to local data; Taping and 
making interviews with older residents for permanent records; 
Collecting and preserving papers, letters, diaries, etc. of histor- 
ical nature. 

Tours of the local area are arranged, pointing out historical 

The Society has a museum located in the Sterling Coliseum for 
the display of articles and papers . Mrs . Winifred Moore was the 
first curator of the museum. W. Corliss Bj-yant is the present 
curator . 

The museum is open on holidays or by calling Mr. Bryant, an 
appointment can be made to make a visit. 

In 1963, the Society became incorporated and is now affiliated 
with the State Historical Society. 

Present officers are: LeRoy Thummel, President; Lee Piper, 
Vice-President; Alice Buyers, Secretary andElsie Buntley, Treas- 


The Sterling-Rock Falls Chapter of Barbershoppers of the 
SPEBSQSA, Inc. was organized in 1951. They have a membership 
of forty-five men from the surrounding area. Present officers are: 
Program Vice-President Ralph Campbell, Morrison; Membership 
Vice-President Earl Beggs, Sterling; Secretary Howard Johnson, 
Rock Falls; Treasurer Ed Schweiss, Sterling; Public Relations Don 
Shontz, Sterling. 

This is a service organization. At Christmas time, they sing 
for the Whiteside County Nursing Home, Martin Home, Colonial 
Acres Nursing Home, Community General Hospital, Garden Homes 
and Coloma Court. They annually sponsor a top Quartette Show, 
which is their money making event. 


The local chapter of Sweet Adelines, Inc. was chartered on July 
17, 1965. They have a membership of twenty-two at the present 

Sweet Adelines, Inc. is an International organization whose func- 
tion is barbershop singing for women. The ladies sing for churches, 
schools, civic and community organizations. They are self-support- 
ting and operate on a non-profit basis. 

Founders of the Sterling-Rock Falls chapter were Liz Speer, 
Grace Batley, Diane Pauley and Pat Ritenour. The original officers 
were: President Liz Speer, Vice-President Diane Pauley, Secretary 
Pat Ritenour and Treasurer Zelma Book. 

The officers for 1967-68 are: President Norma Meyer, Vice- 
President Jean Palethorpe, Recording Secretary Effie Hunsberger, 
Corresponding Secretary Jacque Handel, Treasurer Bemice Fester. 


The Pilot Club members are business and professional women 
in Rock Falls and Sterling. They were organized locally in 1956 and 
at present, have a membership of twenty-three. They are members 
of Pilot International, which is a womens classified service club, 
whose membership consists of business and professional women in 
executive positions. 

Mrs. Alice Lundstrom was the first president and Mrs. Ethel 
Degnan is the 1966-67 president. Meetings are held twice monthly 
'with prominent speakers for their dinner meetings . 

They are engaged in a number of service activities to the com- 
munity. Two major projects are scholarships, which are given 
annually in memory of deceased members. One is a $200.00 Sauk 
Valley College scholarship, given to a student in one of the three 
local high schools in memory of Mrs. Jeanette Polzin. The other 
is a $300.00 nursing scholarship in memory of Mrs. Liia McGava. 


The Whiteside County Rabbit Breeders Association organized 
October 18, 1940 in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Neil Short. The first 
officers were elected at a meeting held in the Glenn Detweiler home. 
President Harold Hurd, Jr. Vice-President Howard Sucher, Sec- 
Treas. Neil Short. 

In 1943, there were 18 members. The club now has two rabbit 
shows a year, one at the Whiteside County Fair Grounds and one at 
the Sterling Coliseum. 

The club helps children in starting to raise rabbits and instructs 
them in showing rabbits. It gives a helping hand to new breeders. 

Charter members who still belong to the club are: Mrs. Eva 
Purdue, Mrs. Blanche Short and Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Detweiler. 


Throughout the 100 years of the history of Rock Falls, we have 
had many men who have given of themselves to serve our town as 
leaders. It xvould be impossible to name all of them in a small his- 
torical booklet. The town, although settled in 1867, was not incor- 
porated as a village until 1869. In the first election for officers, 
William L. Smith was elected president and Henry P. Price as 
clerk. They each served only one year and were succeeded in 1870 
by A.C. Hapgood as president and J. Burdick as clerk. The follow- 
ing year, E.G.W. Parks, who owned the paper mill, became presi- 
dent and Hapgood took over as clerk. C.H. Payson succeeded Mr. 
Parks and J. McDonald became clerk. From 1873 to 1876, Almon 
Wheeler was president and W.H. Tuttle was clerk. 1876 found J. 
D. Davis as president and George W. Nance as clerk. 

The records from the year 1877 through 1886 could not be found, 
but we are quite sure that Joseph Wright served at least one term 
as president. The following five years from 1886 to 1891, W.H. 
Cadwell was the clerk and R.H. Sheldon, W.S. Knee and George W. 
Packer each served a one year term as president. In 1889, Rock 
Falls was incorporated as a town and elected its first mayor, Eg- 
bert L. Wilson, who died in office in 1891. Joseph Wright was ap- 
pointed to fill out his term. 

1891 through 1893, John Kadel was mayor with J.D. Montague 
serving as clerk the first year and E.G. Winters as clerk the years 
of 1893 through 1905. From 1893-1895, D.O. Coe was mayor. Dur- 
ing his term, the Bridge Street sewer was installed. In 1895, R.L. 
Leitch was elected mayor by only one vote on the 'no license' party. 
Ward Line succeeded him and the sidewalks were built on Gray St. 
From 1899 through 1903, R.H. Woods was mayor and sidewalks 
were built on Dixon Avenue, East Third Street and 1st, 2nd and 3rd 
Avenues . 

T.E. Erwin, a former township supervisor, was mayor from 
1903 through 1905. More sidewalks were built on First Avenue and 
the Fifth Avenue and Second Street sewers were installed. 

In 1905, Walter Murray became mayor and J.G. Limerick, the 
clerk. They both served two years. During Murray's term, the first 
pavement was put in from First Avenue to Fourth Avenue on West 
Second Street. The Eighth Avenue and West Fifth Street sewers were 
also constructed. 

A. A. Thome began his first of fourteen years as mayor of Rock 
Falls in 1907. These were not consecutive years. C.L. Hubbard 
became city clerk and served two years. During Thome's first 
term. First Avenue was paved as far as Dixon Avenue and the Dixon 
Avenue sewer was installed. 

E.U. Taylor, who ran a hardware store, became mayor in 1909 
and served until 1911. J.G. Limerick became city clerk again and 
served through A. A. Thome's second term, 1911-1913. Mr. Lim- 
erick was a barber and in later years also served as a justice of the 

A.C. Stanley was mayor from 1913-1915 and C.A. Frey was 
clerk. A. A. Thome was again mayor from 1915-1923, with P.H. 
Davis serving as clerk the first four years and Fred S. Howe be- 
ginning a 15 year term as clerk in 1919. During these terms of 
Mayor Thome, $15,000 was spent on new boilers for the electric 
light plant, built prior to 1895. Also the first motor fire truck was 
purchased in 1920 at a cost of $7,000. 

David L. King was mayor from 1923 through 1927. It was then 
the ornamental lights were installed, also the pavement from West 
Second Street to the bridge and Twelfth Avenue from West Second 
Street to the Avenue G Bridge constructed. A. A. Thome then served 
his last two years as mayor. During this term, the EastSecond 
Street sewer was laid. 

Gus Hanson, a barber, was mayor from 1931 to 1933. He was a 
Spanish-American war veteran and was for many years a Justice of 
the Peace. Samuel Feigely took office in 1933. He, too, was a 
Spanish-American war veteran. During his term, the primary 
treatment sewage disposal plant was built. In 1934, Earl Forehand 
became clerk, which office he still holds. Mr. Feigely served as 
mayor until 1945 when he was succeeded by Frank Trager, a Sterl- 
ing plumbing and heating contractor. 

Irving Weckesser, who had a plumbing shop in Rock Falls, be- 
came mayor in 1949 and served until 1953. During his term, a 
$500,000 bond issue was passed and the main extensions of the 
sewer were installed. Prior to that time, there was very little 
sewer line south of Fifth Street. 

Albert E. George succeeded Weckesser as mayor and was 
elected supervisor of the township after his term as mayor. He had 
to resign this office due to ill health. 

Louis J. Pignatelli, a native son and an attorney, was elected 
to his first term as mayor in 1957 and has been re-elected twice - 
his present term expiring in 1969. During his terms of office, many 
fine improvements have been made. Blocks of new curb and gutter 
and blacktop streets have been installed. The new civic center was 
his dream and became a reality in 1964 with the completion of the 
new Fire-Police Service building and the new City Administration 
building and library. This fine new complex of buildings would do 
credit to a town many times our size. The new Community-Youth 
building, also in the civic center, was dedicated on April 9 of this 
year. A new band shelter has also been built during Mayor Pigna- 
telli's term. 

The present city council and the wards they represent are as 
follows: First Ward, Ernest Conley and Oscar Werland; Second 
Ward, Henry Bright and Paul Fulrath; Third Ward, Wilbur McNInch 
and Albert Jensen; Fourth Ward, James Baker and Joseph Padilla. 

Some of the other accomplishments of Mr. pignaieiii s terms 
have been the four-laning of Route 30 by the state and the installa- 
tion of the light standards from the Prophetstown Road on the west 
to the canal east of Route 88, by the city. The new uptown street 
lighting was also installed. The water system was also purchased 
and expanded. The new disposal plant has been built and sanitary 
sewer lines installed east of the canal. The Industrial Park was 
started and a $60,000 hook and ladder fire truck purchased. 

The oldest document that has been found regarding what is now 
called Rock Falls Police and Fire Service, is a certificate of ac- 
ceptance of members of the Keystone Hose Co. by the village board 
of trustees filed with the city clerk on August 30, 1879. In 1885, the 
village board paid the members of the Keystone Hose Co. $1.00 
each, for each fire attended. They were stationed in the Keystone 
Buildings and the fire bell was atop the Keystone Office Building 
(now occupied by the Masonic Temple). In 1889, the village asked 
that 6 of the firemen be stationed at the city building and this was 

The group at the City Hall became known as the Rock Falls Hose 
Company. Now that there were two companies, the company attend- 
ing the fire received donations from the party whose building(s) were 
involved. This led to some disagreement and even fights between 
the companies to see who would get to the fire first. If both com- 
panies responded, a fight ensued and the building was often left to 
burn to the ground. Finally, a dividing line was agreed upon. They 
also had their troubles back then, with spectators getting in the way 
of the fire fighters and in 1890, they asked the village board forhelp. 

In 1891, the city began purchasing equipment, and in 1893, the 
Rock Falls Company was certified a member of the Illinois Fire- 
men's Ass'n. On April 9, 1894, the Keystone Hose Company joined 
the Rock Falls Company. The 18 men of these companies were then 
considered as charter members of the Rock Falls Company. These 
charter members were: A. J. Burdick, J.D. Montague, A. C. Stan- 
ley, John Dickson, Frank Bemis, John Eitman, A.K. Page, S.M. 
Mingle, D. Coe, P. A. Whitney, A. Hoefler, H.C. Rouse, Howard 
Arey, B.F. Kadel, J.V. McCarty, John Pippert, Fred Smith and 
George Canning. 

Rock Falls Fire Horses Thome & Grady with Parr Whitney 
It was 1908 when the city felt it could afford horses to pull their fire equipment, 
instead of the brawn of the men of the department. Mayor Thome and Alderman C. 
C. Grady purchased the two dappled draft horses and they were promptly named 
Thome and Grady. They were retired to a farm near Geneseo in the early 1920's 
when the fire deportment purchased its first motorized equipment. 

In August of 1908, the city council purchased a team of horses 
to pull the fire wagons. They were named Thome and Grady, after 
the mayor, A. A. Thome and alderman Grady. A new building was 
built that year to house the horses. 

In 1921, after 12 years of service, the horse drawn wagon gave 
way to a hose and chemical truck, a motor vehicle which was pur- 
chased by the Volunteer Department. After this purchase, the horses 
were retired to a farm south of the city. At this time, EdDerwant 
was chief, Wm. Tyne, assistant chief, J.W. Olson, secretary and 
Sam Traister, treasurer. On Sunday, January 22, 1922, the Meth- 
odist Church caught fire and was a total loss . This was due to low 
water pressure, since Sterling was having achurchfire at the same 
time and both cities were sharing the same water system. On 
March 1, 1922, C. Scott was elected chief. 

In 1928, a 600 gallon Peter Pirtch pumper was placed in service. 
This truck cost$9, 000 and the city gave $2, 300 toward its purchase. 
In 1936, another 600 gallon pumper was purchased by the Volunteer 
Department, which paid $499. 00 as a down payment- said sum hav- 
ing been borrowed from the city. In 1946, the Volunteer Department 
bought a John Bean high pressure truck. This was the first of its 
type in this area. 

A Chevrolet ambulance was put in service in 1940 and in 1948 a 
Cadillac ambulance, made at the local Eureka Company, was put 
on emergency service in the city and rural areas. In 1949, part of 
the city and the rural area didn't have any water supply, so the de- 
partment purchased a 1,500 gallon tank truck. The volunteers and 
paid men built a 800 gallon tank truck in 1952. The same year, the 
International Harvester Company donated a station wagon, which 
was made into a rescue truck to haul light plant, smoke ejector and 
tarpaulins for covering household goods to keep them from water 
damage. Also in 1952, R.J. Maynard was appointed chief and has 
remained in that office to the present day. 

A 750 gallon high-low pressure truck was purchased at a cost 
of $21, 000 in 1955. The city gave $5,000 toward the purchase. 
March of 1958, the police and fire departments co-ordinated and 
became what is now known as the Rock Falls Police- Fire Service. 
The city purchased another 750 gallon high-low pressure truck in 

A one-year-old Dalmation dog was donated to the department by 

Dr. Ogden of Tampico in 1951. The dog, who was named Topper, 
retired in 1963. A new 4 wheel drive rescue truck, with all the latest 
equipment available, was put in service in 1966. Also a 75 foot 
aerial truck, the first for the department, was put into service. 

Through the years, there has been a total of 205 members in 
this department. All of these men have gained a lot of experience 
for the time they spent in service to the department. This history 
has been compiled from the minutes of meetings held. 

In the old days, the Fire Chief was called the "Foreman". In 
,1879, this was H.L. Nevrton, 1886, it wasI.W. Ishwood and in 1893, 
A.C. Stanley was appointed Fire Marshal. Some of the others who 
served in this capacity were: J.D. Montague, John Pippert, Robert 
Harper, F.J. Wagley, C. Grady, Charles Billings, John Washburn 
and John Edeus . 

Since the organization of the town, many men have served as 
constable and in later years as chiefs of police. Most served for 
only a year or two, until 1887 when H.L. Brewer was appointed. He 
served in that capacity for nine years until 1902 - although not in 
consecutive years. H.J. Presbry served for nine years from April 
8, 1911 until May of 1923 - again not continuously. Succeeding him 
were P. A. Whitney, Charles S. Johnson and Al Berlin, who served 
for 6 years; and M.B. McDonnell from May, 1933 to May 1945. 
Harry A. Smith succeeded him and served two years and was suc- 
ceeded by Orvel Howard, who served until 1948. Glenn Keime was 
appointed Chief of Police on October 18, 1949 and served in that 
capacity until April 4, 1959 and is still a member of the force. 
When the Police Fire Service became one in 1960, Russell J. May- 
nard was appointed chief of both services and still serves in that 


In 1895, an election was held for the purpose of establishing an 
electric light plant for Rock Falls. On April 13, 1895, the council 
voted to establish a light plant and on June 13 of that year, a con- 
tract was awarded to the Standard Electric Company of Chicago to 
build a power plant and lighting system. 

At first the plant was operated only from sunset to sunrise with 
a moonlight schedule for the street arc lamps. Otherwise, all arc 
lights were turned off at midnight. 

The first electric customer was the old Geyer Building. A street 
light circuit was run into the building and a single light was hung in 
the middle of the main room. Thus his store was lighted during the 
hours that the street lights were burning. This was the start of 
commercial lighting in the city and the money he paid for this ser- 
vice was the first electric revenue collected by the department. 

No meters were used. A flat rate charge of 20( per month per 
lamp being made. 

In 1900, Superintendent Oley M. Aarvig was hired. He had been 
on the job when the original installation was made and had helped to 
build the street light circuit. 

In 1904, new equipment was added and in 1906, 215 meters were 
installed, each property owner paying$17.00 per meter. On Decem- 
ber 6, 1909, a 24 hour schedule for lighting was begun. In 1924, the 
steam plant was closed dovra and the entire load of the city was 
connected to the Illinois Northern Utilities lines at 2300 volts under 
rate "c". Under the I.N.U. contract, the plant was very success- 
ful. Lines were extended, streets were well lighted and profits ac- 
cumulated. Capacitators were installed and Rock Falls received a 
rate "d" and the savings paid for the capacitators in 8 months. 

In 1954, the city and the RB&W exchanged some properties as 
the old light plant was located at 101 Avenue A, which was adjacent 
to the RB&W Plant. A new electric building and office was con- 
structed at 205 East 3rd Street. This is still the light plant. How- 
ever, with the construction of the new community building, the of- 
fice was transferred with the other city offices. 

There have been only six superintendents in the Electric Depart- 
ment; L.J. Dow, 1895-1898; H.L. Page, 1898-1899; Charles Mc- 
Carty, 1899-1900; O.M. Aavig, 1900-1945; Leonard O. Skaggs, 
1945-1965. Leonard had worked under Oley and knew the complex 
Rock Falls system. He died while still active in the department. 
Milo F. Bryant, who trained under Leonard, is now superindentent 
of the Light Department. 


Prior to 1936, Rock Falls was guilty, as were most all cities on 
rivers, of dumping raw sewage into the Rock River. But on January 
3rd of that year, we saw the error of our ways and a special elec- 
tion was held authorizing the issuance of general obligation bonds 
for the purpose of defraying part of the cost of constructing storm 
sewers, sanitary sewers and a primary treatment sewage plant. It 
carried by the large margin of 244 "yes" votes to only 85 "no" votes. 

Land was purchased along the river just west of 12th Avenue for 
the location of the sewage treatment facility. 

In 1949, another election was held for a bond issue to extend the 
sewer lines and was again passed. Sewer lines were then extended 
to many of the fringe areas which previous to that time, had had to 
rely on their own septic tanks. 

April 23, 1963, another election was held for funds with which 
to build a new sewage treatment plant. It narrowly missed defeat 
by a vote of 601 "yes" votes to 600 "no" votes. The new plant is at 
the same location as the old. In 1964, a sewer lift station was built 
east of the canal. 

To help pay for these new improvements, each resident and 
business connected to the sewer lines pays a fee on his utility bill 
each month. 


Prior to 1959, all residents and businesses purchased their 
water directly from the Northern Illinois Water Corporation. In 
1958, the city decided to investigate the possibility of purchasing 
the waterworks system serving the city of Rock Falls and extending 
and improving said system and making sewer improvements in con- 
junction therewith and financing this project by the issuance of bonds 
payable solely from the revenues of the waterworks and sewer 

In August of 1958, the Citizens' Water Committee's report on 
the purchase of the water system was approved by the city council. 
In February of 1959, the council passed an ordinance creating an 
issue of $1, 350, 000 water revenue bonds to pay for the new water 

During the period of construction, the city purchased water from 
Northern Illinois Water Corporation and resold it to residents. 

Land was purchased, wells were drilled and in 1960 the new 
storage tank was erected. Lines were extended and Improved and 
the city now has a fine new water system of its own. 


Little can be found about the first cemetery in Coloma Township 
or Rock Falls. Rumor has it at one time, a small cemetery plot was 
located on the corner of Dixon Avenue and First Avenue, but no re- 
cord is found of the number of graves or when they were removed 
to what now is the I.O.O.F. Cemetery. 

In 1889, the town board appointed a committee consisting of J. 
H. Patterson, K. Woodford and L.H. Woodworth, to purchase 
ground for a cemetery. $200 had been appropriated the previous 
year for this purpose. The 1877 plat map of the township does not 
show a cemetery. 

The I.O.O.F. Cemetery was established in 1883. There are a 
number of tombstones which pre-date this, which were undoubtedly 
moved from another location. Among these stones were Joseph 
Wright's wife, we believe, "Lou born in 1857 - died in 1882". His 
father and mother, Mary M. Wright 1819-1912, and Hugh Wright 
1798-1895. These graves were removed from Montmorency Ceme- 
tery in 1927. Joseph Wright had a long life, born 1848, died 1944. 
Another early grave was Sarah Ann Murray, 1841-1858. Her grave- 
stone is engraved: 

"Weep not for me, my mother dear 
I am not dead, but sleeping here". 
A brother, Coburn Murray, 1822-1868, was also here as well as 
Elizabeth Murray, born 1820 and died 1872 and is on the same plot. 

A.C. Stanley was the first treasurer of the I.O.O.F. Cemetery. 
The third lot sold was to T. Stevenson, who purchased a lot for 

The I.O.O.F. Cemetery was shaded by large evergreens for a 
number of years. However, when a large flock of birds began using 
these trees for nesting and sleeping quarters, the cemetery was 
cleared to keep the gravestones clean and to let grass grow on the 
grave lots. Some of the early pioneers sleeping here are; John L. 
Morrill, 1823-1898; George Adair, 1827-1906; J. B. Mingle, 1834- 
1896; L.H. Woodworth, 1806-1902; Henry Price, 1830-1892; G. 
Rosengren, 1835-1905; Joseph Bickford, 1830-1897; Thomas Ro- 
binson, born in Wilkeshire, England, 1801-1901; Captain Wm. 
Parker, 1835-1907. 

In the Arey family plot were found the following: Sarah Arey, 
1844-1914; Cpl. Richard Arey, no date; James C. Arey, a Civil 
War Veteran, 1837-1913; his wife Mary, 1838-1923. 

The Odd Fellows have made many improvements and additions 
to the cemetery through the years . They have added ground to the 
south of the old cemetery which will provide adequate space for 
burials for many years to come. 

Egbert Wilson - First Mayor of Rocl< Fo 

1967 City Council 
Standing back row: City Attorney, Jacob Cantli 
Joseph Padillo, James Baker; City Clerk Earl Forehand; Alderr 
and Paul Fulrath. Second row: Aldermen Wilbur McNinch, Os 
Ernest Conley. Seated at desk: Mayor Louis J. Pignotelli. 

Albert Jensen, 
en Henry Bright 
:ar Werland and 


Loop Barber Shop 


Personalized Haircutting 

Ladies - Men's - Children's 

Walk in or Phone 625-4020 

for appointment 

Happy Williamson - Prop. 
30114 First Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois 




Homes - Farms - Appraisals 
"City Wide • Country Side" 

PHONE: 625-6263 

301 1st Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois 


Locally produced DeKaib Feeds aid the cattle 
feeder, hog feeder, and dairyman in getting more 
pounds of beef, pork and milk from grains and 
roughages grown on their farms. 


The wide use of DeKaib Feeds returns dollars 
to be spent in local stores, to pay taxes, improve 
living standards. Thus, sales of DeKaib Feeds 
benefit everyone. 

DeKaib Feeds Division 



The first post office on the south side of the Rock River was es- 
tablished in 1847 in what was then called Rapids Precinct. Artemus 
Worthington .was the postmaster. A mail route on the south side of 
the river from Dixon to Prophetstown was also established, but was 
discontinued after a short time. 

The first post office in Rock Falls was established on March 11, 
1868. Truman Culver was the postmaster and he had the post office 
in his grocery store, which stood at the corner of Main and May, 
now West Second and Second Avenue. Mr. Culver was postmaster 
until 1872 or 1873 when O.K. Brown took over. J.B. Ralph suc- 
ceeded Mr. Brown, serving from 1877 to 1882. During the year 
ending June 30, 1878, postal receipts were $3,201.40. The first 
money order was issued July 6, 1874. The remitter was Orson 
Scott, amount $10.00 and fee 5^!. James Pettigrew succeeded Mr. 
Ralph, serving from 1882 until 1886. Next came Robert McNeil who 
served until 1890. Freeman Rosebrook next serving from 1890 to 
1894 and Joseph Wright succeeded him and served until 1898. An- 
drew Goodell was the next postmaster and served until 1906. During 
his administration, rural mail delivery was begun. There were 
three carriers, they being Darius Underwood, Charles Atkins and 
George Deyo. 

rrier. He is the father of George Bassett, who 
ute June 16, 1911. He died in 1937 while still 

Aug Bassett, on early rural mail 
began carrying mail on the rural 
with the department. 

Captain Wm. Parker served from March 1906 until December 
of 1907. He died in service and his wife, Edna was acting post- 
mistress until February 1908. Ex-Mayor RoUin H. Woods succeed- 
ed Mrs. Parker and served until August 18, 1914. Charles C. 
Grady served from that date until August 31, 1923. It was during 
his administration city delivery was begun on April 1, 1918. The 
first regular carriers were Charles F. Willett and Kenneth Stone, 
with Delbert Wright as substitute carrier. It was also during his 
administration that the post office at Rock Falls changed from third 
class to second class. With this change, employees were subject 
to civil service rules and regulations. 

Earl L. Longfellow became acting postmaster on September 1, 
1923 and received his regular appointment on March 1, 1924 and 
served until August 31, 1933. Succeeding him was Robert E. Har- 
per, who was postmaster until his death in March, 1940. William 
F. Klocke, assistant postmaster since 1913, managed the post of- 
fice until Charles H. Beien was appointed acting postmaster on 
April 9, 1940. Mr. Beien was commissioned on April 21, 1941 and 
was postmaster until April 30, 1958, at which time he retired. 
Elmer J. Leusby became acting postmaster on May 1, 1958 and was 
commissioned on May 13, 1959. 

Aside from Mrs. Parker, who was acting postmistress for two 
months, only two other women have worked in the post office. Alice 
Presbry (Arnold), became money order clerk on May 28, 1908 and 
served until her retirement in the early 1940's. Ann Rossiter also 
worked briefly at the post office. 

After the post office left Mr. Culver's Grocery Store, we have 
found no records stating where the post offices were. It was at 203 
West Second for a time and then moved back to the Culver Building, 
which it occupied until the new post office was built in 1937 and 
1938. The new building was occupied on February 12, 1938. 

It is now a first class post office. The 1966 postal receipts were 

In addition to Mr. Leusby, who has been with the postal depart- 
ment since 1935, and the assistant postmaster, George Gronis, who 
is a nephew of Wm. Klocke, there are 25 other employees. There 
are now but two rural routes using two carriers. There are 9 city 
carriers and the balance are employeed in other capacities. 

The post office has received a beautification award this year. A 
citation of merit was presented Mr. Leusby at the Rock Falls Wo- 
man's Club meeting on April 11. The citation was presented to the 
post office on behalf of the citizens of the community as a result of 
the renovation of the grounds, the planting of new evergreens and 
the complete repainting of the exterior of the post office, the yearly 
planting of flowers and the attractive appearance of the building and 
grounds. Rock Falls was one of only three post offices in the coun- 
try to receive this award in President Johnson's Program of Natur- 
al Beauty, designed to improve the landscape of the nation. 

There are three retired personel of the post office still living. 
Charles Beien retired on April 30, 1958. Arthur Ross began ser- 
vice in Mt. Carroll on September 1, 1920 and was transferred to 
Rock Falls on October 1, 1934. He retired December 1, 1957, hav- 
ing served thirty seven years. He began in the horse and buggy era 
and continued through the airmail era. He was a rural carrier all 
during this time. 

Frank Stephenson, also retired, began working for the post of- 
fice on November 1, 1941 and retired February 1, 1961. He was a 
city carrier. 

On April 16, 1925, Jacob Cantlin, H.W. Moates and Charles 
Smith met in the office of Attorney Cantlin and the "Park District, 
Town of Coloma" was formed. The officers were: President Jacob 
Cantlin; Secretary and Treasurer Charles A. Smith. At the time of 
this organization, the only park in Coloma Township was Triangle 
Park, belonging to the city. This park (Triangle) , was donated to the 
city of Rock Falls in 1892 by Abner L. Merrill. The name given to 
the park at that time was Tracy Park. It was later turned over to 
Coloma Park District. The name Triangle Park was changed to 
Veterans Memorial Park at the time that the bandshell was com- 
pleted in 1958 and dedicated to all men and women who had served 
in all wars . This park is located between 5th and 6th Avenues ad- 
jacent to West 5th Street. 

Lawrence Park was donated to the Sterling Park Board and the 
Park District of Coloma. This was donated by the Lawrence family. 
On October 20, 1926, it was agreed that all expenses of caring tor 
the upkeep of the park and the erection of buildings and pool should 
be on the ratio of 80 to 20%. 

Nimswas the next park organized in Rock Falls, located at the 
east end of Third Street along Avenue E. It was donated to the Park 
District by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Schoaf (Bessie Nims) on April 8, 
1940. It was given by them in memory of her parents. On April 15, 
1947, the park board leased the land which ran from the rear of the 
park to the canal from the Federal Government and have since then, 
kept it up for additional play ground. Here is a large shelter house 
with four fire places . Ball diamonds and many pieces of play ground 
equipment are here for the smaller folk. 

On September 3, 1947, the Park Board purchased what is now 
WaUingford Park. This park is located between 7th and 8th Streets. 
It was purchased from the Fire Department for the sura of $6,000. 
Here, we have a modern Little League baseball diamond complete 
with lights, concession stands, bleachers and rest room facilities. 
There is also playground equipment for the smaller folks. A hard 
ball diamond is also located in this park. It was named WaUingford 
Park in recognition of Mr. Ed WaUingford, who was then president 
of the board. 

.About eight years later, land along the river on East Second 
Street was leased from Mr. P.W. Dillon. At this time, the land had 
a very heavy undergrowth of brush and had been used as a city dump. 
It was immediately cleared and filled in with earth. It is now beau- 
tifully sodded and planted with many trees, shrubs and flowers. A 
fireplace and picnic tables have been placed beneath the large oak 
trees. .A black topped drive has been built down to the lower level 
along the river. Many fishermen find this an ideal place for fishing 
and mooring their boats. 

Dillon Park was purchased in 1955 from the estate of Mr. W.M. 
Dillon and the park was named for him. Here a modern lighted 
baseball diamond has been erected with bleachers, concession 
stands and restrooms. The Babe Ruth League play their games here 
and it is also the home of the Rockster Girls Softball team. This 
diamond was consti-ucted through the cooperation of the Park Board, 
Rock Falls Optimist Club and the city of Rock Falls. This park is 
located between 19th and 21st Streets. 

An eight week summer recreation program is conducted in all 
various parks, at St. Andrews Grade School, EastColoma and Rock 
Falls High School. This project is under the sponsorship of the 
Park Board. 

The Park Board leased the land at the corner of Prophetstown 
Road and 14th Avenue from the Elementary School Board. Later 
they released it to the Optimist Club to be used for a playground. 
They have a baseball diamond and playground equipment. 

Mr. Cantlin's term expired in April 1927 and Charles Burgess 
was elected. In 1937, Ed WaUingford replaced Mr. Burgess and 
Grover Lane was also elected, increasing the board to four mem- 
bers. When Mr. Moates passed away in 1939, Frank Seward was 
elected to fill his place and in 1941, August Schultz was elected to 
fill the office left by Grover Lane. At the death of August Schultz in 
1946, L.O. Hoak was elected and in 1949, he was replaced by Floyd 
Balla. The Park Board is composed of Norman Eichenberg, Floyd 
Balla and Frank Seward. George Hinrichs was a member of the 
board but passed away in February 1967. 


In the mid nineteen thirties, steps were taken to give Rock Falls 
its first library. Through the diligent efforts of Rev. James R. Uh- 
linger along with support of the Rock Falls Woman's Club, interest- 
ed citizens and with help from the W.P.A., it was accomplished. 

During the early years, the library was housed in the old Rock 
Falls National Bank Building, the Cruse Building and Merrill School. 
Miss Geneva Hirth was the first librarian and served faithfully until 
her retirement in 1961. Miss Betty Brown succeeded her and is the 
present librarian. 

The library operated as aW.P.A. project until September 1939, 
at which time the Coloma Township voted to support a library with 
a tax levy and the library became the Coloma Township Public 
Library . 

On September 29, 1939, the first elected board was organized 
with Rev. James R. Uhlinger, chairman, Mrs. Ona Mae Bivans, 
secretary, Mrs. Anna Grosse, treasurer and Dr. Glenn J. Pohly, 
Mr. E.I. Lehr and Mrs. Catherine Grothe as members. 

The library moved into the Johnston Building on First Avenue in 
September 1943. Here it served the community for twenty-two years. 

In November 1965, the Coloma Township Public Library merged 
with the city of Rock Falls, thus forming a City-Township library 
to be known as the Rock Falls Public Library. 

The library is now housed in the north wing of the new Municipal 
Building. The city furnishes the room, utilities and janitor service. 
They have also equipped the library with new furnishings. The mon- 
ey received from township tax collections, pays for the salaries, 
books, supplies, etc. 

The board consists of nine members, six of whom are elected 
by the voters of Coloma Township and three who are appointed by 
the mayor. The mayor automatically appoints the six elected board 
mehibers. All appointments are confirmed by the city council. 

Everyone in the township has library privileges dependent onlv 
on library rules and regulations. Those outside the township may 
have library privileges upon paying a small fee. 

The first board of the Rock Falls Public Library was Mr. Clark 
Hoot, Mr. Kenneth Glover, Mr. Milton Rubin, Mrs. Sue Hendricks, 
lyirs. Helen McKinney, Mrs. Dorothy Walter, Mr. James Baker, 
Mrs. Mary Marquis and Mrs. Ann Atilano. 

Acknowledgement is hereby made to all the board members and 
the staff who have served the library so faithfully and with dedica- 
tion over the years. 


The city of Rock Falls is conducting an Urban Renewal Project, 
which briefly is doing the following: the city is purchasing 54 acres 
of poorly developed land near the central part of Rock Falls and is 
clearing this land of all existing structures. New streets, sewers, 
water mains, and all other services are being installed. This land 
is being subdivided into modern residential building lots and is be- 
ing sold to private builders and home owners who will build the ac- 
tual dwellings, which will complete the redevelopment. 

This development, known as Garden View Subdivision, promises 
to be one of the nicest residential areas in the city. This project is 
well on its way to completion, with some of the redeveloped lots 
ready for sale; several of which have already been sold and are be- 
ing built upon. 


The city of Rock Falls, in cooperation with the Whiteside County 
Housing Authority, has sponsored and has built many housing units 
that are exclusively for families and individuals with limited income. 

The are as follows: 

125 homes for families with the only requirement being that they 
have a limited income. The rents are based upon the ability of the 
family to pay. These are located on Coloma Court in Rock Falls. 

40 homes for elderly families or individuals with the require- 
ment that the head of the family be 62 years of age or older and also 
with a limited income; these are located on Garden Circle near 
East 7th Street and First Avenue. 

These 165 units are now in operation and providing good stand- 
ard housing for many people. 

There are now another 100 units for elderly families, being 
made ready for construction, which will be rented on the same 
basis . 

This housing construction is in addition to many new convention- 
al homes constructed in the recent years and many more under 
construction now by private builders. 

Until the year 1856, the only transportation into this area, was 
by wagon, stage coach, on foot or by water. The Rock River has 
never been too reliable as a means of transportation. As its name 
implies, it has a rocky bed in many places and this was certainly 
true in our area. Much time, money and effort was spent in the 
early days trying to make the old Rock navigable. They even tried 
removing rocks from the riverbed by hand. And of course, in Rapid 
City days, an effort was made to build a canal around the Rapids, 
but all to no avail. At high water times, it was possible to navigate 
as far as Wisconsin. In 1840, the Steamer Gypsy came up the river 
from the Mississippi and proceeded as far as Janesville, Wiscon- 
sin. John Mason acted as pilot to conduct. this steamer over the 
rapids. On the Gypsy's return trip, the water had fallen to such a 
degree, that by the time she reached the rapids, she could not get 
over them and had to land on the north side of the river and remove 
all her cargo and even some of the flooring from the upper deck in 
order to get over the rapids. The residents of our neighbor city 
across the river, welcomed the cargo with glee, as a considerable 
portion of it was whiskey. 

In 1841, a flat boat came up the river as far as the rapids and 
an attempt was made to pole it over the rapids, but it resulted in 
failure. Since those early days, the river has been used for little 
except pleasure craft. The first pleasure boat on the river was 
ovraedbyA.P. Smith. L.C. Thome, CB&Q station agent in Rock 
Falls for nearly 40 years, had a 40 foot steam launch shipped here 
on the railroad. He owned it in partnership with Harry Hubbard. It 
was shipped to a siding nearest the river where a 100 foot long skid 
was built at a point just above the First Avenue Bridge and the boat 
unloaded. The boat, named the Neptune, was a familiar sight for 
many years and carried many parties up the river as far as Dixon. 

In 1856, the railroad came to Sterling. Thus the early settlers 
of Rock Falls were able to come here by train. The advent of the 
railroad provided a means of getting the farm and industrial pro- 
ducts of the area to Chicago, where they found a ready market. 
Prior to that, it took many days, by horse and wagon, over difficult 
trails, fording streams and rivers to get their products to market 
and bring back the other necessities which they needed. 

Not too long after A. P. Smith began the town of Rock Falls, he 
realized that a railroad directly to our town was a necessity, if we 
were to attract and keep the industry which we had. He approached 
the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, which went through Sterling 
and asked them to build a bridge across the river to Rock Falls. 
This they refused to do and told him if he must have a railroad, he 
must build it. This Mr. Smith proceeded to do. 


The CBijy Railiuad hjd becuied control of the Rocklord, Rock 
Island and St. Louis Railroad, which was being built from St. Louis 
and had reached Sterling, when it became bankrupt. Mr. Smith went 
to them and they told him that if he would obtain the right of way and 
grade the roadbed from Rock Falls to Shabbona to connect with their 
St. Paul and Minneapolis line to Chicago, they would lay the rails 
and operate the road. 

Mr. Smith then organized the Chicago and Rock River Railroad 
with Coloma Township and Montmorency each pledging $50,000. 
Harmon Township in Lee County and the various villages and towns 
through which the road was to pass on its route to Shabbona, a dis- 
tance of 47 miles, all agreed to help finance the project. But about 
this time, the supreme court declared unconstitutional, the statute 
granting aid in this manner. This led to long dravm out litigation, 
all parties trying to get out of paying what aid they had voted. Co- 
loma Township, which benefited most from the railroad which had 
voted the $50,000 with only three dissenting votes, eventually had 
to pay their share after litigation and interest had boosted it to 
$75,000. In return for their money, they received $50,000 worth of 
stock in the railroad, which by then was not worth the paper it was 
written on. The road passed into the hands of the CB&Q before its 
completion. The CB&Q wanted to build a bridge across the river so 
as to make them a through line from Chicago to St. Louis and offer- 
ed to buy the stock from Coloma Township for $2500, rather than 
to go to the expense of foreclosing their mortgage. The soap box 
orators of the day made it difficult to obtain a majority of votes to 
accept this offer, but it finally was. 

By that time, the line had been run down River Street to service 
all the factories along the mill race and river. A depot was built 
just north of Third Street on Avenue A. This was a busy depot for 
many years, carrying passengers and freight. The old depot was 
torn down In 1966 to make room for a parking lot for theRB&W. 

A Mr. Merchant was the first agent for the CB&Q. Mr. Fred 
Babcock was the second and in 1877, Mr. L.C. Thome was ap- 
pointed agent and continued in that capacity until his retirement in 
1915. George F. DeMurray succeeded him. 


Probably the first taxi service in Rock Falls was begun by Al 
Berlin. He had two 'cabs ! One pulled by ahorse, "Old Blind Maude, " 
and the other by two ponies. They took telephone orders at their 
home, 509 Third Ave. , then later from a restaurant, which the 
family started next to Wylie's Drug Store. When automobiles be- 
came popular, Mr. Berlin switched to two cars and later four and 
became associated with Yellow Cab Co. He operated from Rock 
Falls for a year or two, then moved the offices to Sterling. This 
business was later sold to the Ferris'. The business returned to 
Rock Falls again in 1948, when it was purchased by Wm. Montgom- 
ery. The business was first operated from his body shop at 102 
12th Avenue and later moved to quarters downtown at 305 West 2nd 
Street. The Yellow Cab Co. was purchased by E.G. Wolf, Jr. in 
1954 and the offices are now located at 1901 1st Avenue. Mr. Wolf 
also handles rental cars and trucks under National Car Rental Ser- 

Inter-city transportation was furnished for a number of years by 
the Twin City Motor Coach Co., owned and operated by Patsy Celan- 
tano. Bams and offices were at 317-319 West 2nd Street. This 
company operated from the late 1930 's to the late 1940 's. But after 
the war, when cars became more plentiful, the operation became 
unprofitable and was discontinued. 

All school bus and charter bus business in the area is operated 
by Thomeway Lines Incorporated, owned by Orville Thome. This 
business was begun in 1937 and is located on West 14th Street. It 
began as a moving business and busses were added to the operation 
in 1942. 

The area also has many trucking firms which have terminals in 
Rock Falls. Among them are theBrada Miller Freight System, Inc. , 
Garstenson Freight Lines Inc., Churchill Truck Lines, Inc., Dar- 
ling Freight, Inc., General Cartage Co. Inc., Knox Motor Service, 
Inc., Lambrecht Trucking Co. and Sims Motor Transport. All 
these have terminals here and operate interstate. In addition, there 
are many other smaller firms which operate from Rock Falls. 

After the discontinuing of passenger service by the CB&Q, Rock 
Falls has been dependent upon Sterling for train service by the 
Northwestern Railroad. Even that has dwindled to only one train to 
and from Chicago a day. 

For several years, Trailways Bus Line operated through Rock 
Falls between Peoria and Freeport. The Greyhound Line stops in 
Sterling for bus passengers. 


The Rock Falls Airport was founded by Darhal Wolf and Kenny 
Zimmerman at asite about three miles south ofRockFalls onRoute 
88 . Later it was called Skaggs Field for Leonard Skaggs and his 
great interest and work for an airport. 

When the Sterling Airport decided to cease operations, the State 
of Illinois felt there should be a County Airport. In 1946, a referen- 
dum was held in Whiteside County and was passed. Federal and 
State authorities deemed the site of Skaggs Field suitable for a 
county airport. The ground was owned by Cecil Richardson and a 
gift of ground by him made it possible for the county of Whiteside 
to accept a state grant. Then, through the Department of Auero- 
nautics in Springfield, the Federal Government participated and a 
4000 foot paved runway was established. A hearing by the C.A.B. 
determined that this community should be served by a common car- 
rier. Ozark Airlines had their initial scheduled flight into theWliite- 
side County Airport on December 1, 1962 with a DC 3. Now all 
flights have the F.H. 227 turbo prop equipment. 

Whiteside County Airport is one of the few ports in the Ozark 
system that is served by an airfreighter. It makes a scheduled stop 
every evening and tonnage out of this airport is about fifth out of the 
58 stops of Ozark. 

A new 5600 foot cross runway was finished in 1966, making pos- 
sible, stops that occasionally had to be cancelled when there was 
a cross wind. 



Tlie City of Rock Falls 





Land Surveying 

Airports . .. r r .. . Sewerage 

Street Lighting ^ ^ Structural 

Highways Water Works 

809 E. Second Street Dixon, lllinob 

Tel. 815/284-3381 


On December 2, 1889, the Iowa Union Telephone Company asked 
for a franchise to construct a telephone outside plant on the streets 
and alleys in Rock Falls. The request was denied and not passed on 
"in its present shape", on January 6, 1890. The Iowa Union Tele- 
phone Company went ahead with construction work, with a promise 
that a franchise would be granted. It was not until December 17, 
1894, that the official franchise was granted. 

Previous to this time, both the Central Union Telephone Com- 
pany and the Interstate Telephone and Telegraph Company had es- 
tablished open wire circuits across Rock River on top of the old 
First Avenue iron bridge, to Rock Falls. 

OnOctober 12, 1896, the Central Union Telephone Co. requested 
a franchise to operate in Rock Falls, but the permit was not issued 
by the city council until February 6, 1899. At this time, the Central 
Union Telephone Co. took over the property of the Iowa Union Tel- 
ephone Company. 

The Harrison Telephone Company was also operating in Rock 
Falls without a franchise, and there were warm discussions on the 
subject between telephone employees of both companies and the gen- 
eral public. For instance, on the records of the minutes of a coun- 
cil meeting of January 16, 1899, an order was requested that a 

Central Union Telephone Co. instrument be removed from the city 
clerk's office and installed in the electric light plant and a Harrison 
Telephone Co. telephone be installed in the city clerk's office. Why? 
No one knows. All of the above information is written into the min- 
utes of the City of Rock Falls by the city clerk and signed by the 
mayor and councimen. 

In 1900, the Farmers Mutual Telephone Co. was operating a 
small office upstairs at 207 West 2nd St. Mrs. Ted Williams was 
the first operator. Later the office was moved to her residence on 
Fifth Avenue. Mrs. Ada Beales (Glenn) became the operator in 1907 
with the office on West Second Street above what is now Sowles Store. 
The Farmers Mutual Telephone Company had about 40 subscribers 
and had one-wire circuits built to the farmers south of Rock Falls 
and into Tampico, Illinois. Mr. N.L. McKinzie was the manager 
of the Telephone Company at that time. The office worked from 6 
a.m. until 9 p.m. and only answered doctor calls after that time. 
Mrs. Beales was the operator for four years. 

January 6, 1916, the switchboard was removed from Rock Falls 
and the phones were connected to the Tampico lines until September 
1919. At that time they were taken over by the Northern Illinois 
Bell Telephone Company, where they have remained. 

Manufacmiring Establishments of Rdck Falls. Whiteside Co. Ill 





KOOL KING Automatic Air Conditioners 







PHONE 625-1383 

1103 First Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois 61071 






TOM KURTZ - Owner 




"May the next 100 years be as prosperous 
as the past 100 years" 



The life stream of any community is the business It enjoys. As 
we look down through the pages of the past, we find many names who 
have contributed to the life of the community in the business acti- 
vity they carried on. 

The nursery of W.E. Lukens preceded the organization of our 
Rock Falls as a city. He purchased the site from Mr. Merrill in 
1861 and improvements began the following year. The 11-1/2 acres 
lie between what is now 5th and 6th Avenues, from Second Street 
south to Fifth Street. The Luken's residence occupied the southwest 
corner of Second Street and Sixth Avenue. The nursery went under 
the name of "Coloma Nursery", and was described as one of the 
most beautiful locations in the city. During the 70's, he offered for 
sale, "8,000 Norway spruces for dooryards and hedges and 10,000 
Scotch pines, the best groves or windbreaks on sandy soil". He had 
apple and cherry trees and grape vines. Some of these spruce and 
pine trees may still be seen in the neighborhood. 

When the demands for lots increased, around 1875, Lukens de- 
cided to lay out his nursery in town lots. In the fall of 1876, it was 
platted and lots were offered for sale. He advertised these as choice 
lots, complete with 40 to 50 feet of hedge, most with ornamental 
and fruit trees thereon, where good wells of never-failing water can 
be had with pump for $12 to $18, and entirely dry cellars. Prices 
low and ample time given". 

Dr. J.L. Morrill, the first physician in Rock Falls, bought the 
first lot offered for sale by Lukens for $880 in 1876. He immedi- 
ately built the house standing at 300 Fifth Avenue. 

A.D. Hapgood, moved a building from Como in which he estab- 
lished a general merchandise store in 1867. The store was not pro- 
fitable. This building became part of the Baltic House, later known 
as the Brewer House and was situated where the "Corner Tap" is 
now located. 

In 1867, Truman Culver erected a building on the corner of Sec- 
ond Avenue and West Second Street. This was the first new business 
building built in Rock Falls and Mr. Culver opened a grocery store 
in it. 

In 1868, Newton and Muckeridge came from Como and opened a 
general merchandise store in a building erected across the street 
north from the Culver Building. Mr. Muckridge, the next year, 
returned to Como with the dry good business. Mr. Newton retained 
the grocery store, later, about 1880, selling to A.C. Stanley. 

The first drug store in Rock Falls was started in 1868 by the 
grandfather of Dean Bickford, who was a well known Sterling drug- 
gist for years. Goodell and Ingals opened a hardware store in 1868. 

Ephriam Brookfield came to Rock Falls from Coleta and opened 
the first bank in 1874. 

The Bert Marfleet home, which was torn down and is now the 
city parking lot, directly behind the Rock Falls School of Beauty, 
was originally the Rock Falls House, one of Rock Falls early hotels. 

As we move on into today's business world, we find some mem- 
bers of our community who have been here from the early 1900's, 
who are still carrying on today. Jacob Cantlin, Attorney-at-law, 
came to Rock Falls in June 1907. He is a lawyer who has served 
the community well for over 60 years, not only practicing law, but 
also friendship as well. "Jake" has a host of friends in our commu- 
nity. Mr. Cantlin was born in Williams, Iowa, January 5, 1885, 
while his mother was visiting there. His permanent home was 
Earlville. At 15, the family moved toTampico, where he completed 
school. He graduated from the University of Illinois, School of Law 
in 1906. He married Darlene West of Tampico, May 10, 1911 and to 
this union, four daughters were born. Jacob has served as city at- 
torney for a number of years. He has been active in community 
affairs and one of the shining moments of "Jake's" careerwas pre- 
siding as Interlocutor at the minstrel shows, which were produced 
by the Business Association in the 40's and 50's. 

The Johnston Lumber Company has a long period of service to 
Rock Falls. The Wheeler-Brown Company was taken over by the 
Johnston Family in 1907 and has been operated in the same location 
for the past sbcty years. Robert E. Johnston was secretary-trea- 
surer of the firm in Rock Falls, the company also having lumber 
yards in other communities in this area. Mr. Johnston was born 
April 21, 1877, near Galva, Illinois. In 1905, he married Alda 
Born and they had four children. The youngest son. Gene, is now 
head of the Johnston firm, which continues to serve the building 
needs of our community. 

Rubin is a familiar name to every resident of Rock Falls and has. 
been a familiar name for over sixty years. "Joe" Rubin began bus- 
iness in 1905, at 414 Second Avenue. First he did paperhanging and 
sold dry goods . Later, he added cars to his line of merchandise, 
when cars were still a novelty. At this time, he also began dealing 
in scrap iron. In 1919, he moved to the present location on West 
Second Street, where he added coal to his scrap iron business. Mr. 
Rubin passed away in 1940. However, by this time, he had been 
joined in business by his sons, Isadore and Milton, who have con- 
tinued in the business. Coal and scrap iron have passed from exist- 
ance as far as today's business is concerned, but Milt and Ike have 
one of the largest used car lots in this area. Another son of Joe is 
Louis Rubin, who is a well-knovm Dermatologist in Rockford, hav- 
ing for his patients many Rock Falls folks. Another son, Samuel, 
was an Attorney-at-law, having been associated with Mr. Cantlin 
for a number of years. Sam died in the early 1960 's. 

One of the most remembered treats to many old timers will be 
a "Soda at Daniels". This firm has catered to sweet-tooth of many 
a person over a long period of time. Peter Daniels came to Rock 
Falls in 1910 and opened a confectionery store at 205 West Second 
St. Peter died in 1919 enroute to his homeland, Greece and was 
buried at sea. His son, Louis, ably carried on the Daniels Store 
and the tradition of good candy until "Danny" was able to take his 
place in the operation of the business. In 1928, the present location 
was purchased from W.J. Sowles. Louis retired to Ft. Myers, 
Florida in 1957. "Danny" still continues to operate the store at 215 
West Second St. , known as Daniels Grill. During the winter months, 
Danny still makes the delicious home-made candies for which the 
firm has been famous. In fact, the piece of marble used to mix and 
roll these toothsome goodies is the original piece brought from 
Greece by Danny's father. 

Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Sowles Sr. moved to Rock Falls, Illinois in 
1905 and purchased the Hubbard and Morrison Grocery Store, lo- 
cated in the building now occupied by the Crystal Barber Shop. Some 
years later, they purchased the building just west and moved the 
grocery store to this location -207 West Second Street, now occupied 
by Daniel's Store. As the town developed, a number of citizens 
formed a corporation under the name of W.J. Sowles Dry Goods 
Co. and opened a dry goods and millinery store on First Avenue in 
the building now being used by Illinois Kitchen Center. As a matter 
of bringing the two business enterprises together, the building at 
209 WestSecond St. was purchased from Claude Melvin and the gro- 
cery store was moved one door west and the dry goods was moved 
from First Avenue to 207 West Second St. An archway was cut be- 
tween the two buildings and this operation existed for several years. 

After considerable thought, Mr. Sowles decided to give all his 
time to the dry goods business and enlarged the building at 209 West 
Second St. and moved to this address. 

Daniels Brothers purchased the former location at 207 West 
Second St. and this building is still being used and operated as 
"Daniel's Grill". 

In the year 1931, W.J. Sowles passed away and his son, then 
employed at Bradley's Clothing Store in Sterling, Illinois, came to 
Rock Falls and took over the operation of the store. As the depres- 
sion clouds cleared and all business was improving, need for addi- 
tional space brought about the purchase of the adjoining building to 
the west, housing the Goldfuss Men's Clothing and Shoe Store. After 
remodeling the building, the ready-to-wear department was enlarged 
and moved into this building which is occupied at this time. 

The need for an enlarged infant's and children's department was 
very evident and the building at 213, owned by Joe Sullivan, became 
available and was purchased for the above mentioned department. 

Sowles Store now occupies 3 rooms, 209-211-213 West Second 
St. and have had a continuous store operation in Rock Falls since 

Daggett's is an old familiar name in Rock Falls. Daggett and 
Fenn operated a partnership drug store in Prophetstown, and Fenn 
operated a drug store in Rock Falls at 101 West Second St. In 1911, 
the Prophetstown partnership dissolved andH. F. Daggett took over 
the Rock Falls Store, which was in a corner of the Geyer Bldg. Be- 
sides drugs, the store had a soda fountain, paints and clock and 
watch repairs. Two names long associated with Daggett's was John 
Dancey as Pharmacist and Ike Greene as watch repair man. 

In 1938, the store moved across First Avenue to 203, in the 
building which is owned by the Wheeler Estate. At this time, his 



( RexalQ 

Doctors & Druggists 

Dr. J.E. Heiss 

Dr. S.A. Allen 

Dr. George Maxwell 

Peoples Drug Store 

Hendricks Drug Co. 

A. E. Curtis Druggist 

The Rexall Drug Store 

Locust Pharmacy 

R.L. Hoisted Druggist 

Perry & Hoover Pharmacists 

STAN BARDO Reg. Pharm. 

Phone 6250199 

203 1st Ave. Rock Falls, Illinois 


Best Wishes to Rock Falls 

1867 - 1967 

No! We haven't been in business 100 years. 
But we're proud to be a port of our city 
celebrating 100 years. 


NED McGinn 

Phone 625-3089 

206 E. 7TH ST. 


Best Wishes to the 
City of Rock Falls 



GIL COREY - General Mgr. 

Phone 625-6300 
Locust Street Sterling, Illinois 

Congratulations to Rock Falls 

for Completing its 100th Year 

of Great Success 



Phone 625-1094 


H. F. Daggett, Geo. Curtis, Cop Saunders and a salesmen 

son-in-law, Ross Lennox, joined the firm. Mrs. Lennox was the 
former Helen Daggett. StanBardo purchased the drug store in 1946. 
However, Ross retained the jewelry business and opened his first 
store in 205-1/2 First Avenue. Mr. Daggett retired and passed 
away in 1950. In 1956, a new building for the jewelry store was 
opened at209SecondAvenue, across from the Rock Falls post office, 
where it is still operated under the name of Daggett's Jewel Box. 

S.E. Wheelock came to Rock Falls in 1913 from Manlius, Illi- 
nois. Mr. Wheelock purchased the furniture store of F.H. Geyer, 
located at the corner of First Avenue and West Second Street. He 
did not confine his efforts to furniture alone, but operated a funeral 
parlor in the same location. In 1936. Wheelock's opened a new 
funeral home at the corner of First Avenue and 3rd Avenue, this 
being known as Wheelock-AUen. Both sons. Jay Loomis and Elbert 
K., helped in the funeral business as both were licensed morticians. 
After Daggett's moved from the corner location, the furniture store 
was completely remodeled in 1938, making a much larger store. 
This store was destroyed by fire in 1950. The store was rebuilt on 
the same location, being run by Jay Loomis and Elbert. S.E. Wheel- 
ock died in 1944 and Jay Loomis passed away early this year, 1967. 
Elbert still operates the furniture store. 

The Moulton Drug Store has been in existance since early Rock 
Falls, having first been A.L. Lemon Store. This business was pur- 
chased by T.J. Wylie in 1910, who continued to operate the store 
until his death in 1946. The Wylie Drug Store was a favorite hang- 
out for the young crowd on Sunday afternoons when the soda fountain 
was in full swing. Ray Moulton came to work for T.J. in 1925 and 
upon the death of Mr. Wylie, he purchased the store in 1946. The 
store still operates in the same location, having changed from an 
old fashioned store to a modern self-service store without a soda 
fountain. Mrs. Wylie is living in Moline with her daughter, Mrs. 
Rita Potter. 

The S & K Clothing Store has a long history of service in Rock 
Falls, though not always under this familiar name. Eugene Gray 
had a men's habadashery located next to Wheelock's on West Second 
St. This location later became Mar-Jean Variety. It is now occupied 
by the New Hurdle Hardware Store. Gene operated the men's store 
for many years and later took his son Seth into business with him. 
Seth moved the store into the Frank's Building at the northwest cor- 
ner of First Avenue and West Second Street. Seth sold habadashery, 
men's clothing and women's shoes. It seems Rock Falls has trouble 
keeping a shoe store. Following World War H, Seth sold the cloth- 
ing store to Albert Klocke and John Sumption, who operate the store 
under the name of S and K, continuing to serve the community with 
men and boys' wear. One of the improvements made during the past 
year has been "A Big Wheel" shop, catering to boys' needs. 

Longfellows' was a familiar name to many men and boys, and 
yet, today we often hear someone say, I'm going down to "Jum's". 
This billiard parlor is now known as Hudson and Schwab, operating 
in the same location for over fifty years . 

We would be remiss if we did not mention the Washburn Grocery 
Store which was a Rock Falls landmark for many years. The Wash- 
burn building still stands and is the location of "Tim's House of 
Bargains". After the Washburn family gave up the store, it contin- 
ued to be operated in the same manner by Russell Short. Changes 

were not made until in the 1940's, when the Greer family bought the 
store and completely renovated it. 

Pippert's Market was also a land mark for many old timers, 
having been operated as a meat market through three generations. 
The market is now the location of the Ideal Cleaners. The last of 
the Pippert Family, Colder, sold the store to Williams and Leaf, 
upon his retirement. The picture here shows a display of fresh 
meat carried in the market during the early 1900's. 


A wagon shop was located in the building which is now the Com- 
merce House. This wagon shop and blacksmith shop was run by 
George Adair, and was sold to Ed Knabe, who operated a hardware 
store and a sheet metal shop in this location for a number of years. 
Upon the death of Mr. Knabe, his sons ran the business, with Paul 
keeping the hardware section and "Bud" operating the heating de- 
partment. When the building was sold to settle the estate of Mr. 
Knabe, Paul closed out the hardware store and "Bud" continued 
with the heating in another location. Since the close of Knabe's, the 
building has been operated with two stores, one side being the Rock 
Falls Gambles Store, owned by Clarence Bressler, and the other 
the Commerce House, owned by Cal Triggs. 

A number of businesses need to be mentioned, yet space does 
not allow for us to go back through the years trying to find who has 
been in business in Rock Falls. Some of the names that may have a 
meaning are: Metzler Shoe Repair Shop, Terlizzi's Grocery, 
Mower's Grocery, Lazios Confectionery, Vanetti's Confectionery, 
Pignatelli's Confectionery -which was operated by a brother of our 
present Mayor, Louis Pignatelli, Chris Scheler Implements, Clap- 
per Poultry House, McBeth Liquor Store, Leuschke's Modem Pastry 
Shop, Kelsey's Harness Shop, E.U. Taylor Hardware, Tehans Gro- 
cery, Klocke Bros. Saloon, Ed Limind Cigar Store, Stanley and 
Stanley Grocery and Bakery, Whitney Hotel, Pippert Hotel, Gudeman 
Grocery, Van Drew Co., Garardi Grocery, Bonardi Shoe Shop, 
Goldfuss Economy Store, Teach Blacksmith Shop, Teach and Bracken 
Blacksmiths, Pollock's Variety Store, Roxy Theatre, Strand The- 
atre, Schofield Saloon, E. Pichiotti Confectionery, Worman's Shoe 
Shop, Ted's Barbershop, Glenn Beales Barber and many many more 
who were active in Rock Falls. 

Though less than fifty years old, we have a number of businesses 
which have been established in one generation and is now moving on 
into the second. . .Oilman's Grocery was purchased by Louis Oltman 
from Jens Johannsen in 1923, in the area then known as Garden City. 
Mr. Oltman passed away in 1937 and his daughter Leona, with the 
assistance of her brother Herman, operated the store. In 1947, 
Leona married Ray Ruckdeschel and he too, entered the grocery 
business, having been in merchandising in Chicago before coming 
to Rock Falls. In 1953, Ray and Leona bought Herman's share of 
the business and the store is still operating in the same location 
under the name of Ray's Certified Grocery. 

Frank Seward came to Rock Falls in 1931. He purchased a small 
store and filling station at the corner of Wesi Fifth Street and Elev- 
enth Avenue. During World War II, Frank rebuilt the building and 
enlarged his store, which he continues to operate today with the 
help of his wife, Esther. The last gas pump from the station was 
removed about three years ago. 

The Hurdle Hardware Store opened for business in Rock Falls 

Compliments of 


Plumbincf & Heating 

"Serving the Community 
for 30 years" 


Phone 625-0371 

1003 14TH AVE. 





' -j^^ 






Heckman's Custom Library Binding 

Library Books 

Reference Books 






Text Books 
Hand Bibles 
Family and 
Pulpit Bibles 
Restoration and 
Repair of 
Rare Volumes 

Free Pickup and Delivery in 25 States - Regulc 

Doy Servic 



Congratu ations Rock Fal s 


FOR — quality, service, price 


p ease — YOU — can depend on 


Route ^30 & 71-h Avenue, Rock Falls, Illinois 

in 1925. "Gar" Hurdle came to Rock Falls from Polo, where he had 
been in the hardware business. He purchased Rosengren and Shel- 
don Hardware, located at 221 West Second Street. "Gar" tells us a 
fire started in the store one very very cold night, when it was about 
5 below zero^ and when the fire was extinguished and damages were 
assessed, it was decided to move to a new location, which was at 
the corner of Second Avenue and Second Street. Mr. Hurdle is pre- 
sently the oldest business man on the street. His son John, now 
actively operates the business and perhaps before this booklet is 
finished, will have moved into his new location at 105 West Second 
St., which will about double the capacity of the present hardware 

Rock Falls has a history of two Rock Falls dairies, the first be- 
ing begun byGeorge Hendryx in 1915. This started on a farm on the 
Buell Road and later was moved to the large farm property just 
south of what is now Route 30 and on Route 88, or the Colder Road. 
Hey Brothers bought the dairy in 191S. 

The second Rock Falls Dairy was established in 1932. Peter 
Kaup, who was experienced in the dairy business, came here from 
Chicago and opened business in the building which still stands at the 
corner of West Second Street and Fourth Avenue. This building is 
now owned and occupied by the Eagles Lodge. This soon became too 
small for their operation and they moved to 105 East Third Street, 
where they continued to grow, finally in 1948, building a new mo- 
dern plant at 1301 West Second Street. With the completion of the 
new plant, they started the manufacture of ice cream, which they 
still do and which is served at their dairy bar. Peter Kaup passed 
away in 1966. However, Henry and Elizabeth Kaup are still operat- 
ing the business which their father started. Mrs. Kaup is still living. 

The Hill Electric Company is nearing the fifty year mark. Max 
Hill began an electric shop in 1925 in the old Teach Blacksmith Shop, 
located on West Second Street. From there, he moved to the Mower 
Building on First Avenue and then to a brick building which was lo- 
cated across from the Rock Falls Congregational Church, now the 
site of the Rock Falls National Bank. This was a new building in 
1933. However, as the company grew and expanded, the building 
grew and expanded with it, until today it occupies two full store 
fronts. Max is gradually retiring from thecomapny, whose business 
ir motor rewinding and switchboard work. Max has trained Robert 
Sanduskey, who is keeping the Hill Company going. 

Another Hill name which has become well known in Rock Falls 
recently, is Gary P. Hill, son of Max, who is in the real estate 
business and has built a beautiful modern office on the location of 
the Par Whitney property on First Avenue. 

The Humphrey Insurance Agency was started here in 1939 by 
Otis Humphrey. Otis and his wife Lucille, came here from Morri- 
son, Illinois. They started business in the old Culver Building, 
which is now one of the Kadle Buildings, from there moving to a 
large office over the Rock Falls National Bank, when it was located 
at the corner of First Avenue and West Second Street. When their 
son. Dale, finished schooling, he entered the business with his 
parents and they now have an office on the ground floor at 209 First 
Avenue. Mr. Humphrey passed away in March of this year. The 
business is continuing under the guidance of Mrs. Humphrey and 
son. Dale. 

Dr. Glenn J. Pohly came to Rock Falls in 1931 to begin his 
practice of medicine. His first office was located on Second Avenue, 

next to the Rock Falls Post Office. Moving from there to the old 
Rock Falls Bank Building on West Second Street. Dr. Pohly has had 
a long continuous service in Rock Falls. Dr. Pohly graduated from 
North Central College of Liberal Arts and received his medical de- 
gree from Northwestern Medical School. For contributions he made 
to the Research Hospital during the war years, he was made a mem- 
ber of the staff. He has had commendation from five presidents for 
his continuous service to the Whiteside County Selective Service 
Board, as a medical examiner. 

He is active in civic, church and school affairs. He is past pres- 
ident of the Whiteside County Medical Association, served 3 terms 
as Chief of Staff at Community General Hospital, is a member of the 
American Medical Association and the Academy of General Prac- 
tice. He has been health officer of Rock Falls for many years and 
is still serving in this capacity. 

He is a past president of Sterling-Rock Falls Chamber of Com- 
merce, past president of Rock Falls Rotary, Salvation Army and 
YMCA Board. He is a charter member of the Sunday Evening Club 
and is still serving on same. A member of the Methodist Church, 
he has served the church in many capacities. 

Dr. Pohly has this year moved into a new office, located at 815 
First Avenue. 

Dr. Ahrens, Optometrist, has been in Rock Falls a long time 
and is now located in the building which is also occupied by Dr. 
Fonder, who is an Orthodonist. This building is located next to 
Ideal Cleaners and makes a good professional building for Rock Falls . 

Another professional building is located at 105 Dixon Avenue, 
where Dr. Jack Alter and Dr. Hubbard have offices. Moving east 
on Dixon Avenue across the canal bridge, we have a professional 
building which is occupied by Dr. Wilkin, dentist. Dr. DeWeerth, 
dentist and Drs. Tom and John McDonald. Dr. Tom McDonald came 
to Rock Falls to take over the practice which had been Dr. Allen's. 

The newest addition to our business community was built about 
1960, when Robert Wilkins purchased the "Pine Grove", which be- 
longed to the Oltman family, and on it constructed the "Pine Grove 
Shopping Center". This consists of a huge supermarket, a restaur- 
ant, bakery, self-service laundry and dry cleaning plant. About two 
years ago, a new building was added to the unit which is now the 
location of the "Scott" Variety Store. There is off street parking 
for about 250 to 300 cars and entrances can be gained from First 
Avenue or from West 12th Street. This new addition to the business 
life of the community continues to keep us growing and improving. 

Rock Falls' first bank was established in October 1874 and was 
called the Exchange Bank. The founder was Ephraim Brookfield of 
Coleta, who managed the bank for about two years and because of 
illness turned his interests over to George W. Nance, who had 
worked in the bank from its beginning. It is not known how long this 
bank operated or when it ceased operations . 

However, sometime prior to the 1900's, the Lund Brothers and 
Sophus Richards organized and opened the First National Bank. It 
was located in the Culver Building and derived its capital from 
Minnesota. The president of the bank was O.E. Maxon until 1911 
when L. P. McMillan took over the management as its executive of- 
ficer. He bought two old frame buildings on the north side of West 

Congratulations Rock Falls 




Water Heaters 


Office: 625-6252 
Residence: 625-2990 


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Phone 625-3755 Phone 625-3121 

319 1st Ave., Rock Falls, Illinois 

Congratulations to 
Park Falls 



PHONE 625-6600 





Phone 625-2466 


Yi Mile East of Route 88 Junction 

Second Street, demolished them and built the building which now 
houses the State of Illinois Unemployment Office. In its new quar- 
ters, the bank prospered through the early 1900's, but it too, was 
doomed to be caught in the web of economic decline which started 
with the stodk market crash in 1929 and carrying through the next 
three years of business decline and bank failures. On June 6, 1932, 
the First National Bank of Rock Falls closed its doors and went Into 
receivership, being liquidated over a period of several years. When 
the building was offered for sale, a group of businessmen banded 
together with the intention of purchasing the building and starting a 
new bank in the interest of the community. However, they were un- 
successful in securing the property and Rock Falls was without its 
own banking facilities until the Rock Falls Business Association 
came into being. This organization decided that a bank in Rock Falls 
seemed best for the welfare of the community. An application was 
filed, a charter was granted, and on November 23, 1945, Rock Falls 
National Bank opened its doors at 201 First Avenue, the former lo- 
cation of Terlizzi's Grocery Store. The first officers were: William 
J. Sowles, president, Henry N. Kaup, vice president, Frank J. 
Reichardt, executive vice president and William J. Keenan, cashier. 
Directors were: William J. Sowles, Henry N. Kaup, Danny P. Dan- 
iels, Jay L. Wheelock, Otis J. Humphrey, Arthur J. Franks, W. 
Wilson King, Max A. Hill and Joe N. Sullivan. Fifteen years later, 
with deposits in excess of $5 million, the Congregational Church 
and parsonage was purchased and demolished and a modern one- 
story bank building was erected and on February 1, 1960, the bank 
moved into its new quarters at 300-302 First Avenue. Rock Falls 
National Bank is now a $10 million bank with the following directors 
and officers: William J. Sowles, president, Henry N. Kaup, vice 
president, Frank J. Reichardt, executive vice president, Danny P. 
Daniels, Arthur J. Frank, Max A. Hill, Elbert K. Wheelock. Ad- 
ditional officers are William J. Keenan, cashier, Miss Pauline 
Howe and Gilbert Moothart, assistant cashiers. 

In 1887, another financial institution was in existence in Rock 
Falls in the form of a Building and Loan Association. A.C. Stanley 
was president; Robert McNeil, vice president; Isaac Bush, secre- 
tary and James Pettigrew, treasurer. History records a similar 
association or perhaps a continuation of this earlier one in 1896 and 
1897, with Mayor R.L. Leitch as its president. What happened to 
these early institutions is not known, but by the early 1900's, neith- 
er were in operation any longer. In 1962, a group of business and 
professional men decided that a building and loan association would 
be feasible on the Rock Falls side of the river. Accordingly, the 
Rock Falls Savings and Loan Association was organized and char- 
tered as a state savings and loan association. This organization has 
had a fine growth under the founding and present officers: John M. 
Dillon, president; Ray H. Pettit, vice president; Dr. Leroy Dan- 
reiter, secretary; Merrill M. Benson, assistant secretary; John 
Lawrence, assistant, secretary; Calvin L. Morgan, assistant sec- 
retary; William E. Hill, Jr., treasurer and Kennard J. Besse, 
legal council. 

The Stone Insurance Agency was founded in 1906 by Mr. W.T. 
Stone in Rock Falls, Illinois, who owned and operated the agency 
until the time of his death in March of 1938. At this time, his son, 
Mr. Kenneth Stone took over the Agency and operated it until Feb- 
ruary 1, 1940. It was then sold to Mr. George H. Stone. (Mr. 
George Stone was no relation to W.T., But retained the Stone repu - 
tation. Mr. George H. Stone operated the agency until March 1, 
1959 when it was then sold to the present owners, Mr. William F. 
Klock and Mr. Lyle M. Book. The agency has grown steadily and 
is now one of the largest agencies in this area, handling most all 
types of insurance coverage. 


The history of any community would not be complete without 
some mention of the printed word. Today, we have television and 
radio, yet the power of the press is undisputed. 

In the early days of our town, many attempts were made to es- 
tablish newspapers. The Rock Falls Progress began publication in 
1870. Cadwell and Tuttle were the publishers. However, due to the 
continued illness of Mr. Cadwell, the paper ceased publication seven 
years later. 

A.J. Booth and Co. publishers came to Rock Falls from Morri- 
son in 1876. They published the Whiteside Times and also published 
a city directory in 1877, numerous copies of which are still about. 
They continued publication of the paper until May 1878 when they 
leased the office to Hyde and Searle, who continued for one more 

Elmer Searle of the firm of Hyde and Searle, started publication 
of Searle Times, with Cadwell and Tuttle doing the printing. The 
paper was short lived, dying after three months of publication. 

The "Ensign of Liberty" was the next publication, starting Feb- 
ruary 25, 1879. J.M. Foley was editor, again Cadwell and Tuttle 
printed the paper. Within three months it too, died a natural death. 

Rock Falls had been without a newspaper for sometime when the 
Rock Falls News began publication on July 5,1882 by Capt. William 
Parker. In 1884, his daughter, Anna F. became his associate. Two 
years later, she married Charles Lee Mentzer, who purchased a 
half interest in the business. They then purchased the building at 
the corner of Third Avenue and Second Street which burned on Jan- 
uary 3, 1896. A new outfit was ordered and publication was resumed 
in the Industrial Building. Capt. Parker sold his interest to Emery 
L. Bond in 1907 and Mentzer and Bond formed the News Publishing 
Co. with E.L. Bond as president and Anna Mentzer as secretary. 
The paper ceased publication about 1913. 

Another Rock Falls News began publication in 1917 or 1918. It 
too, was unsuccessful financially, and shortly after the armistice, 
ceased publication. 

Between 1918 and 1936, there were seven attempts made to es- 
tablish papers in Rock Falls with each one ending in failure. 

In 1936, a weekly mimeograph shopper was started in Rock Falls 
by Jack Adair. He named it "Rock Falls News", from the original 
paper started by Capt. Parker. Miss Verna Bruns went to work for 
him in 1937 and married her boss in 1943. Jack was very active in 
local civic affairs, helping to promote Rock Falls through the Rock 
Falls News. He passed away in 1959. Mrs. Adair kept the paper 
going and in 1963, married Donald C. Ward. The paper has changed 
to offset printing and is now called Rock Falls Shopping News, ser- 
vicing the entire Rock Falls area and its rural routes through 31 
years of service. 

The Rock Falls Record began publication on May 1, 1947. This 
weekly was edited by Jerry Gamel. In 1948, it was incorporated by 
a group of local business men with Mr. Gamel remaining as editor. 
They purchased their own equipment and printed the paper locally. 
In 1949, B.F. Shaw of Dixon, purchased the paper. The Shaw Co. 
published a paper twice a week. They discontinued publication in 
March of 1951. 

Rock Falls area has been well serviced through the years by the 
Daily Gazette, which is published in Sterling. The Gazette was es- 
tablished in 1854, withD.W. Grandon as founder. It is still operated 
by the Grandon family. Their generosity to all local projects is 
well known. 

The Rockford Morning Star also gives daily news coverage to 
many homes in Rock Falls. 








PHONE 625-0776 


At present, Rock Falls is without a movie theater. But this has 
not always been so. It Is believed the first movie house in Rock 
Falls was the Nickelodeon, operated by E.F. Vlering In the early 
1900's. It ws(s located in one of the old buildings later torn down to 
make room for the First National Bank. 

During the 1910's and 1920's, Al Berlin (who, during a long and 
varied career, operated restaurants, confectionery stores, taxicabs 
and was Chief of Police of Rook Falls), had two theaters in Rock 
Falls. The Lyric Theater at 203 First Avenue and the Grand Theater 
in the old Schofield Building at 311 West 2nd St. This building was 
destroyed by fire in 1966 and has been replaced by a new brick 
structure. During this period. Sterling had a Blue Law, which for- 
bade movies on Sunday. The Lyric was unable to accomodate the 
crowds and Mr. Berlin then opened the Grand. Both of these thea- 
ters were closed by the late 1920's. 

Later, the Fields opened the Roxy Theater at 221 West 2nd St. 
This was purchased by the Kontos ' in 1937 and was operated by them 
until 1956. Drive-in movies and television spelled the death knell 
to many such small town movie houses . 

Left to Right in Top Row: Am 

Bottom Ro 

Parley Wh: 
^Walton, C. Nichols, 


Will Grater, Fr 


m, E 

orl Stanley, 

tney, Fr 

ed Smith. 


rl Kir 

ner, Georg 

. Fryea 

id A. 



The corn carnivals held for ten consecutive years from 1910 to 
1919, were the biggest events of that period and of almost any per- 
iod since. They were sponsored by the merchants and interested 
individuals. These big festivals were held in the fall of the year and 
drew thousands of people to Rock Falls from miles around. They 
really put Rock Falls on the map in those good old days . 

The streets, store fronts and city buildings were gaily decorat- 
ed in harvest style at corn carnival time. Sheaves, stalks and ears 
of corn decorated every building. Farmers brought in samples of 
their grain, vegetables and poultry to be exhibited and to compete 
for the blue and red prize ribbons to be awarded by the corn carni- 
val association. The housewives vied with one another for prizes in 
the displays of fancy goods, cakes, breads and other delicacies of 
the culinary art. 

Besides the exhibits, there were numerous free attractions, the 
merry-go-round, ferris-wheel, all kinds of novelty, food booths, 
side shows and lots of other things to make a good time for every- 
body. Balloon ascensions every afternoon were big features of com 
carnival week. 

The first corn carnival opened Wednesday, September 28, 1910. 
Schools were let out part of the time so the students could join in 
the festivities. On Thursday, considerable excitement was caused 
when the balloon caught on fire and burned up. The next day, a new 
balloon arrived and made a fine ascension. 

A large horse show was held and was a huge success . Another 
big feature was the baby show, where 105 babies were shown and 
six prizes awarded to the best babies. 

At the 1911 show, which began on Wednesday, September 27, 
114 babies competed for prizes. 

At the 1912 corn carnival, balloon ascensions were again held. 
High Dive stunts were also a big feature of the show and 112 babies 
were entered in the baby contest. 

In 1913, auto day was one of the big attractions. The biggest 
baby show in the history was held, with 176 babies entered. 

In 1914, auto races were a big event and the baby parade was 
also held with autos. 130 babies were in the baby show. 

The following years, the carnival was very successful with 
many of the above events being very popular. It is probably one of 
the most photographed events in the history of Rock Falls with hun- 
dreds of pictures being taken each year and thousands of copies of 
them being sold. 

In 1935, there was a revival of the Corn Carnival, sponsored by 
the Volunteer Fire Department. The Woman's Club sponsored the 
ladies exhibits with ribbons for the winners in the culinary arts and 
fancy handwork. 

The Volunteer Fire Department, over several years of holding 
com carnivals and raffling off tickets for a new car, which was 
given awayon thelast nightof the carnival, raised money with which 
they purchased an ambulance. This was for community use. These 
carnivals continued until about 1939, when they again were abandoned. 



In the window says 

When the frost is on the pumpkin 
And the fodders in the shock 
Then's the time to get your furniture 
From Geyer's Fail ond Winter stock. 


Christian Church 

(Disciples o 

f Christ] 

506 Fifth 


Rock Falls 



IN 1897 


B.D. ■ Pastor 

First Congregational 


of Rock Falls 

''Serving the People of 
Rock Falls for 88 Years'' 


Dixon Road 

Rock Falls, Illinois 

The First 
Methodist Church 

Roeii Falls, Illinois 

Pastor - The Rev. Fred N. Anderson 

The Method! St s of Rock Falls have span- 
ned almost all of the century that the City 
of Rock Falls has been in existence. They 
were organized as a Class in 1868-69. The 
first church building was begun in 1869. 
The parsonage was built in 1872. In 1921 
the church building burned to the ground 
and the present brick structure was built. 
An educat ional unit was added in 1961. 

We pray that the City of Rock Falls and 
all of its churches shall deserve another 
century of useful service. 

Immanuel Lutheran 

''Pioneers in Faith in Rock Falls'' 

90th Anniversary 
1877 - 1967 

501 8th Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois 


Rock Falls, over the years, has not been without its fair share 
of great and near-great performers in the wide world of sports. 

The city has had numerous, fine, young athletes who have reach- 
ed fame (if not fortune) through their perservering, all-out endeav- 
ors in their particular chosen sport. 

How many towns the size of Rock Falls can boast of having had 
a world boxing champion? Or one of the nation's first professional 
football players? Or a man so interested in, devoted to, and active 
in baseball as to become practically a legend in his own lifetime? 
Or a man so highly esteemed by his fellowmen for his untiring ef- 
forts in promoting good, clean sportsmanship among the younger 
generation that a stadium is named in his honor? Or the favorable 
recognition this city has been accorded through many of these young 
athlete's participation in rugged Big Ten competition? 

Couple all the above personalities with the many outstanding 
football and basketball teams Rock Falls High School has produced 
over the years and you have a pretty composite picture of just how 
well Rock Falls measures up to any other city of comparable size 
when it comes to having representation in the sports world. 

On this and subsequent pages, is presented a brief biography of 
a few of these athletes, inclusive of well deserved mention of a few 
of the stellar teams they helped immortalize in the hearts of their 

Linto Guerrieri 

One Rock Falls resident who literally fought his way up the lad- 
der of success, was the late Linto Guerrieri. Guerrieri was bom in 
Cherry, Illinois on November 11, 1915 and passed away in Rock 
Falls on February 12, 1966. 

The ladder of fame - if not fortune - started for Linto in Golden 
Gloves elimination bouts staged in Sterling, Rockford, Chicago and 
New York City, where he bested all aspiring-to-champions from 
this country and Europe to become the 1937 light heavyweight Gol- 
den Gloves Amateur Boxing Champion of the world. 

Naturally, Linto was not only the toast of Rock Falls and Sterl- 
ing, but of the entire State of Illinois for the laurels he acquired in 
the prize-fight ring that year. 

For some unnaccountable reason, Linto never did turn profes- 
sional, although he almost did have an encounter with a gentleman 
of the ring who became quite famous about that era. From that 'al- 
most encounter' stems one of Linto 's favorite yarns: 

It seems that the Chicago tournament would have pitted the Rock 
Falls fighter against a fellow whose name would soon become world 
famous in boxing circles . However, at the last minute before the 
scheduled bout, another fighter was substituted and was easily de- 
feated by Guerrieri. 

To his dying day, Linto humorously maintained that it certainly 
was a lucky break for "that other fighter" that night. Otherwise, he 
always laughingly said, no one would probably have ever heard of 
one of the greatest boxing craftsman the world has ever known. 

The name of that 'lucky' person? You guessed it . . . Joe Louis! 

Carlo A . Pignatelli 

Carlo A. Pignatelli, a son of Francesco and Reginalda Pignatelli, 
was born in Rock Falls, Illinois on November 25, 1907. He died on 
June 13, 1964. 

Carl was an outstanding athlete in both high school and college. 
A member of the class of 1926 of Rock Falls High School, he was 
an all-around athlete and played four years of brilliant varsity foot- 
ball and basketball . 

In 1926, Carl entered Iowa University at Iowa City, Iowa, on a 
basketball scholarship. At Iowa University, he was so outstanding 
in football that he gave up basketball. From 1927 through 1930, he 
played on the great Iowa football teams coached by Burt Ingwerson. 

After graduating from Iowa University, Carl became one of the 
first professional football players in the nation. He played for the 
Ironton Tanks (later the Cleveland Indians) of fronton, Ohio. The 
general manager of the Ironton Tanks was Frank Lane. 

The "Howe" Story 

A man who became practically a legend in this community in his 
own lifetime, was Roy "Slim" Howe of south Route 88, Rock Falls. 
Reading "Slim's" biography can almost be compared to reading a 
page from baseball's "Who's Who". 

Born August 12, 1883, in Rogersville, Tennessee, Roy was one 
of six brothers and one sister. Coming to Rock Falls at the age of 
19, Roy worked on numerous local farms during the summer months 
and for the old Keystone factory here in Rock Falls during the win- 

Sunday, however, was his day to play ball and he could always 
be found on some sandlot with the "boys" pursuing his favorite 
pastime - baseball. 

In 1907, he married Gertrude Frank, the daughter of Theodore 
Frank, and they settled on a farm just south of the canal bridge on 
Route 88, where they lived happily together until Roy's tragic and 
untimely death in 1955. To this marriage, which lasted within a 
couple of months of a golden one, were born 15 children - nine boys 
and six girls. 

In his youth "Slim" had quite a reputation as a baseball pitcher 
and whenever a tough team came into the area the local teams would 
always get Roy to take over the mound chores for the local team. A 
few of the local men he played baseball with in those days were: Joe 
and Bill Killian, Hub and Joe Schoaf, Les Devine and Stub Dietz. 

When his pitching days were over, he started helping the younger 
boys in the area. In 1934, he and his sons built the ball park on his 
farm known as Howe's Field. Never was Roy too busy with the farm 
work to help a beginner or to participate in some manner in a ball 


^ - 

i*:i ' (ia 

The Montmorency Blues 
From left to right, top row: Clorence McCarthy, Edword Dietz, T. Miller. 
Middle row: Louis Dietz, Lawrence Kelly, John McComiick, Noah Heckel. 
Seated: Roy "Slim" Howe, Donald Howe and Tony Morgue. 

In 1938, the first of his sons made a try for fame in baseball 
when Robert and William participated in the Minor Leagues; Bob 
with the Yankee Farms and Bill with the Cardinal Farms. Then 
came the rumble of World War H and most of the Minor Leagues 
started to disband for lack of players as the boys started to leave 
for the service. 

Gertrude and Roy Howe contributed more than their fair share 
in the Great Conflict, having seven sons in World War n and one 
in the Korean Conflict. 

In 1942, Calvin Howe, then only 17 years old, was signed by the 
Chicago Cubs and went to the Kitty League for a short time, but it 
closed down shortly and he finished the season with the Wise State 
League, and so ended the young Howe's careers in baseball until 
after the war. 

In the meantime, however, there was always a team at Howe's 
Field known as Howe's All Stars. The roster included boys home on 
leave, fellows too young for the service and older men in the com- 

In 1947, the Chicago Cubs hired "Slim" as a baseball scout in 
this area, a position he held for many years. Over the years, he 
signed several boys from this area to Cub contracts, including Dean 
Stone of the Tri-Cities, who played about six years with the Wash- 
ington Senators and the Minnesota Twins as a pitcher, and, of 



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PHONE 625-5100 



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Products & Service 
for 23 Years 

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course, his son Calvin, who had a short stay with the Cubs in 1952. 
He also signed Doug Unger, Howard McCormick, Blase Zera, Gene 
Taribelda of Rockford and his other son, John Kadel. 

According to son Bill, "Slim's" greatest thrill in life probably 
came on Augfist 18, 1948, when area fans gave John and Calvin a 
"Howe's Night" at Riverview Ball Park in Clinton, Iowa. As left 
handed pitching stars, Cal won 18 and lost 4, while brother John 
won 17 and lost only 6 that season, while playing with the Clinton 
Cubs of the Central League. 

In Bill's words: "The ball park was jammed full of people that 
night, with about 95 per cent from Rock Falls and Sterling, when 
the master-of-ceremonies requested over the public address sys- 
tem for "Slim" and Gert to come down to home plate for the gift 
presentation. "Slim", tall and straight, showed somewhat of a chest 
that night!" 

JohnK. broke his pitching arm at the end of the 1948 season and 
had to give up baseball. Cal continued until 1957 before retiring. 
Ted played two years in the minors and then umpired for several 
more years, advancing to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, be- 
fore he also retired. Bob continued in baseball for several years 
after the war before settling on a farm in South Carolina. 

Slim remained active in baseball until a freak farm accident 
claimed his life on September 13, 1955. A storm had blown a tree 
down on a 4300 volt service line on the farm and he and his sons, 
Tom and Ted, were trying to control the ensuing fire, when the 
family dog ran past them and into the high voltage wires. Helpful 
till the end, Roy in attempting to save the dog's life, accidently 
touched the downed wires, costing him his own life. 

Hinder's Memorial Field 

In the fall of 1963, Hinder's Memorial Field was named after 
Lloyd A. Hinders. What sort of a person must an individual be to 
be deserving of such an honor? Most of us remember him as a fine 
teacher, a great coach and, at the time of his death, the Athletic 
Director of Rock Falls High School. In these capacities, he always 
displayed akeensenseof loyality, competition, perseverance, pride 
and citizenship. 

Perhaps a few lines from a speech Lloyd was preparing, just 
before his untimely decease, for delivery at the Montmorency Grade 
School Sports Banquet, may lend an insight into just what kind of a 
fellow he really was. We quote from these notes, found in his pick- 
et by his wife Dorothy: 

"As an athlete, you represent your home, your school and your 
community. Play with a 'never say die' spirit, do your best and this 
is all that can be asked of you. Above all, play fair, for if the world 
needs anything in sports, fair players are needed the most." 

One of Lloyd's favorite statements when asked. how things were 
going, was: "We're doing good -but let's do better!" 

Lloyd A. Hinders was bornMay 12, 1910 in Forreston Township, 
Ogle County, the son of Allen and Elizabeth Moring Hinders . He 
attended the Shannon grade and high schools. He received his bach- 
elor of Arts and Science degree in North Central College, Naper- 
ville, Illinois in 1932, and was awarded his Master's degree from 
the University of Iowa on February 1, 1947. 

From 1932 to 1934, he was an assistant instructor in hygiene 
and track coach at North Central College. During those three years, 
his teams won the IIAC track and field championships. The next 
two years were spent in St. Luke's private school for boys at Canaan, 

On November 26, 1936, he was united in marriage with Miss 
Dorothy Nesemeyer, at which time the young couple moved to Rock 
Falls where he taught and coached at Merrill School. 

During his seven years at Merrill Grade School, his teams 
entered the state basketball tournaments numerous tunes, finishing 
in second place on two occasions. For years, he supervised play in 
the parks during the summer months. 

In the fall of 1943, he became head of Social Studies at Rock 
Falls High School, as well as head basketball coach and assistant 
football coach. During this time, he helped produce many outstand- 
ing athletes and Rock Falls always had powerful teams on both the 
basketball court and the gridiron. In 1951, he dropped coaching to 
become athletic director of Rock Falls High School. 

Mr. Hinders was instigator of baseball in Rock Falls High School, 
and under his supervision in athletics, he saw many excellent teams 
developed, including the 1957-58 basketball team that finished run- 
nerup to Marshall of Chicago in the Illinois State Tournament. 

Hinders was quite an outstanding sports figure in his own right, 
as witnessed by the following exploits: In 1928, while a junior in the 
Shannon High School, he and Lamoine Boyle formed a two-man track 
team, representing that school and won the Sterling Township High 
School Invitational Track and Field championships . He was captain 
of the track team in his senior year at North Central College and 
starred in track, plus participating in intermural basketball and 
football. He is still believed to hold the college discus record for 
North Central at 141 feet, 5 inches. In 1931, he placed sixth in the 
national septathlon at the Illinois Relay Carnival. 

It was through his untiring efforts that Little League was insti- 
tuted in Rock Falls . In addition to being a charter member of the 
Rock Falls Optimist Club, Lloyd also served in the capacity of past 
president of the local chapter, as well as Lt. Governor of the State 
and National organization. 

Mr. Hinders passed away April 1, 1963, leaving behind, his 
wife Dorothy and one son, Mark, who reside at 1005 LeRoy Avenue, 
Rock Falls. 

Kenneth F. Siebel 

Kenneth F. Siebel, Jr., the son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Siebel, 
formerly of 813 LeRoy Avenue, Rock Falls, now residing on Min- 
eral Springs Road, Sterling, was born on February 19, 1941 in 
Savanna, Illinois. 

Ken attended both Merrill Grade and Junior High Schools. He 
was a member of the eighth grade basketball team that placed third 
in the grade school state tournament. Upon graduation. Ken was 
awarded the American Legion Award by Rock Falls Legion Post 902. 

He attendedRock Falls High School 1955 through 1959, where he 
participated in football, basketball and track for four year - inclu- 
sive of three years of varsity competition. 

The highlight of his high school athletic days was during his 
junior year when the basketball team, coached by Dick Haselton, 
placed second to Marshall High School of Chicago in the State Bas- 
ketball Tournament at Champaign. 

The versatile young man establLshed a number of records at 
R.F.H.S. and a new Sterling Field House record of 50 points in a 
single game. He was chosen on the first team in the North Central 
Conference, the Associated Press All-Tournament team and the 
All-State team. 

In his senior year. Ken was valedictorian of his graduating class, 
in addition to receiving the best all-round student award and the 
sportsmanship award. 

Ken decided to attend the University of Wisconsin on a combin- 
ation academic-athletic scholarship where he received his B.B.A. 
and Masters of Business Administration Degrees. 

He played three years of varsity basketball, as guard and for- 
ward while attending the University of Wisconsin. 

Numerous honors were accorded Ken while at the University. He 
was co-captain his senior year, played in the East-West game, was 
chosen for the Pan American trials and set a new scoring record 
for three years of competition. 

The highest honor accorded Ken, was being chosen the Most 
Valuable Basketball Player at Wisconsin for three years in succes- 
sion, an honor which no other eager in the history of Wisconsin has 
ever achieved. 

The greatest thrill of his college sport's career was the upset 
win over Ohio State, 86 to 67, at the time the Buckeyes were named 
on all press polls as the nation's top-ranked team. 

May 1, 1963, the Rock Falls Chamber of Commerce sponsored 
a banquet at R.F.H.S. honoring Ken, at which time, they present- 
ed him with a citation for his outstanding marks as both an athlete 
and a scholar. 

Ken has continued his basketball career to some extent, playing 
for several different amateur teams and has made trips to Madrid, 
Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina to participate in various tourna- 
ments . 

Ken is presently living in San Francisco and is associated as a 
registered representative, with Smith, Barney and Company, a 
leading investment banking and brokerage firm, where he covers 
Hawaii periodically for the company. 


Mrs. Lloyd Thome 


Phone 625-2338 
809 Avenue A Rock Falls, Illinois 

Harold's Place 

812 12th Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois 


501 Locust Street Sterling, Illinois 


Dial 625-4375 

Twin City Yellow Cab 

19 1st. Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois 
Ellsworth Wolf, Owner 


Rt. 30 Rock Falls, Illinois 
Harry Everly, Owner 


409 Avenue A Rock Falls, Illinois 
Jack Skelton, Owner 


Wallace Street Sterling, 1 llinoi s 


Downtown Rock Falls 
Andy Thinnes, Owner 


Phone 625-0172 
A.J. Melville Rock Falls, Illinois 


Roasted Chicken 

Rt. 30 Rock Falls, Illinois 
"Rich" Harvey, Owner 

Gary Kolb 

Gary Kolb, the son of Josephine and the late Ernest Kolb, was 
born in Rock Falls on March 13, 1940 and was a permanent resident 
here until 1960, when he signed a professional baseball contract 
with the St. Louis Cai'dinals. 

Gary took part in both basketball and track during his years in 
Rock Falls Junior High School. The Lightweight Basketball Team, 
on which he played, finished 4th in the state tournament. 

Gary earned 11 varsity letters while attending Rock Fulls High 
School; four in baseball, three in basketball and two each in track 
and football. He gained All-Conference and All-State teams in both 
football and basketball. 

Rock Falls residents will forever remember the 1958 Rocket 
Basketball team that finished second to Marshall High School of 
Chicago in the final game of the State Basketball Tournament at 
Champaign, and brought our fair city state-wide recognition. Gary 
was a regular starting guard on that memorable team. 

As a track performer, Gary still holds the Rock Falls High 
School 100-yard dash record, which he set in 1957. As a pitcher 
for the high school baseball team during the summer months, he 
recorded two no-hitters. 

The young athlete is always quick to point out that he learned a 
great amount about sports and sportsmanship while attending Rock 
Falls High School from such fine instructors and coaches as the late 
Lloyd Hinders, Bruce McDonald, Richard Haselton and Walter Har- 
dy, all who have contributed so much to his athletic success. 

After considering countless offers from numerous colleges, Gary 
decided to attend the University of Illinois. He was strongly influ- 
enced in his decision by Mr. and Mrs. C. Deane Frary of Prophets- 
town, who have helped in guiding him throughout his college days. 

At Illinois, he lettered in both football and baseball and it was 
here that he was scouted by professional baseball clubs and was 
later signed to a bonus contract with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1960 . 

Gary spent most of the 1960, 1961 and 1962 baseball seasons in 
the Minor Leagues. He moved up to the Cardinals in 1963 and played 
on the Cardinal team that gave the Dodgers a battle for the pennant, 
before losing out in the last few games. He was traded to the Mil- 
waukee Braves at the start of the 1964 season and spent two months 
at Denver, Colorado of the Pacific Coast League, before joining the 
Braves in June. He remained with the Milwaukee Braves before be- 
ing sold to the New York Mets in July 1965. 

In 1966, he spent the season at Jacksonville, Florida as a Player- 
Coach. In December of 1966, he was traded to the Pittsburg Pirates. 
Gary has spent over three years in the Major Leagues since signing 
in May of 1960 . 

While playing for Lancaster, Pennsylvania, of the Eastern League 
during the 1961 season, he met Georgia Fritsch wTiom he married 
later that year. They have two children, Lisa Rene, age 4 and Marc 
Todd, 2. 

Young Kolb's biggest thrill was replacing Stan Musial InMusial's 
last game of that gentleman's illustrious career on the final day of 
the 1963 season. Other major thrills, Gary recalls readily, was 
playing in the Illinois State High School Basketball Tournament in 
1958 and hitting his first home run in the Major Leagues in 1963. 

Gary feels he has indeed been very fortunate in having the op- 
portunity of playing with two of the all-time greats in modern day 
baseball . . . namely, Stan Musial and Warren Spahn. 

The talented Rock Falls athlete plans to continue as an active 
player in baseball as long as he is physically able. He plans to con- 
tinue in baseball as either a coach or manager when his active play- 
ing days are ended. 

However, at 26 years of age, he now is set on getting back to 
the majors and to play in a World Series ... he hopes with the 
Pittsburg Pirates in 1967. 

Jeff Kolb 

In order to bring our sports history up-to-date - and especially 
the baseball story, we cannot forget to mention Jeffrey Kolb (known 
to most everyone as Jeff). Jeff, who was born on September 16, 
1946, is the younger brother of Gary. 

Jeff was graduated from Rock Falls High School in 1964. While 
attending school there, he participated in all sports. He was bas- 
ketball captain 2 years. An injury sidelined him from football dur- 
ing his freshman year, but he participated again in his senior year. 

Jeff has attended Illinois State U at Normal for 2 years where he 
earned his basketball letter his sophomore year. 

On July 17, 1966, he was signed by the Chicago White Sox and 
sent to the rookie league in Sarasota, Florida. This year, he is with 
the Sox Farm Club from Appleton, Wisconsin and plays third base 
with them in the Mid-West League. He can be seen in action at 
Clinton and Davenport, Iowa when the team is playing in this area. 

1957-58 "Rollicking" Rockets 

Down through the years. Rock Falls has taken a backseat to no 
one in its athletic pride. Probably one of the most exciting examples 
of this pride was the basketball season of 1957 and 1958. The Rock 
Falls Rockets, better known as the "Rollicking" Rockets, under 
the leadership of coach Richard "Dick" Haselton, assistant Walt 
Hardy and athletic director Lloyd Hinders, compiled an outstanding 
33 wins and 2 loss record. 

During the regular season, the Rockets compiled a 25 win and 1 
loss record, winning the NCIC Conference, the DeKalb Holiday 
Tournament and the New-Mor-Rock-Ster Tournament. The only 
regular season loss came at the hands of the Kewanee Boilermakers, 
a 63 to 60 setback that came while the Rockets Senior Captain Gary 
Kolb was attending an All-State football banquet in Champaign- 

Throughout the season, the Rockets displayed courage and fi- 
nesse rarely found in high school basketball. One of the major fac- 
tors of the Rockets' success was Coach Haselton's emphasis on 
teamwork, and his strong bench. One situation comes to mind dur- 
ing the East Rockford game of the Sectional Tournament. Hampered 
by foul trouble, the Rockets had to rely on their bench. Coming off 
the bench, sixth man Frank Simester scored 17 points in the closing 
minutes to help send Rock Falls on to the Super-Sectional at vVhar- 
ton Field House, Moline. 

To cite only one man of the Rocket bench would be an injustice 
to the entire team, for it was men like Simester, Thome, Johnson, 
Ramirez, Anderson, Gall and Wescott, who contributed so much to 
the fine first team of Kolb, Cain, Gallentine, Martin and Siebel. 

It goes without saying that throughout the season, the powerful 
Rockets picked up fans from here, there and everywhere as they 
worked their way, game by game, toward the state finals, until 
finally . . . The State Tournament! ! 

Playing before capacity crowds, as members of the Elite-Eight, 
the Rockets proceeded to dump rival Schlarman of Danville in a 
game that saw two state records fall. The score: Rock Falls - 101, 
Danville - 76. This performance set the record for the highest two 
team total, and also the highest one team total. These records still 
stand. The following day, the Rockets beat a good Peoria Spaulding 
team, placing them in the State Tournament's final contest. 

Rock Falls vs Marshall 

The final game of the Illinois State Tournament started with a 
fury. Rock Falls quickly grabbed the lead, but just as quickly found 
themselves in serious foul trouble. Jim Cain, star center of the 
Rockets was tabbed with four fouls in the first quarter, and others 
had three fouls before the first half had ended. Not only did this 
hamper Coach Haselton's scoring threat, but prohibited the Rockets 
from using their rather famous full-court press. 

Foul trouble and the speed of the fine Marshall High School team 
was a bit more than the Rockets could cope with. The game ended 
with Marshall on top by a score of 70 to 64. 

According to fans - and not only those from Rock Falls either - 
the Rockets were Champions! Did the Rockets perform well? Well, 
they only set four state records, placed Siebel and Kolb on the All- 
Tournament First Team, Cain on the All-Tournament Second Team 
and Gallentine and Martin received honorable mention. Quite an ac- 
complishment in two days. 

Quotes, such as: "The best coached team I've seen all year, " 
"They're beautiful to watch, " and "One of the finest teams to ever 
play in Huff Gymnasium, " came from the press box. 

Any article about this excellent basketball team of 1957-58 would 
hardly be complete without mentioning Managers Eldon Williams 
and Steve Nicols, whose efficient duties helped immensely in mak- 
ing such a smooth running organization possible. 

Rock Falls trip to the State Tournament was well represented in 
other ways also. Cheerleaders Sally Harper, Nancy Akerburg, Sue 
Gallentine and Sally Henderson, who was named to the All-Tourna- 
ment Cheerleaders, among others, and Miss Pat Burgess who re- 
presented Rock Falls in the Queens' Court. 






Jack & Jill Store 


Groceries - Meats 




Hoover Cleaners 

PHONE 625-0129 


1960 Undefeated Football Team 

During the fall of 1960, the city of Rock Falls and Rock Falls 
High School wrote another page in their history of sports. That year, 
under the leadership of Coach Bruce "Mac" MacDonald and his cap- 
able staff, a' Cinderella football team became a giant. This team, 
playing under handicap of lack of weight piled up victories over im- 
pressive foes. 

Known primarily as a defensive ball team, the Rockets stopped 
opponents of much greater size through clever maneuvering and 
ninety per cent desire, instilled in them by Coach MacDonald. Such 
defensive standouts as Ed Rein, Bill Connell, L'Dean Gunderson, 
John Bonnell, Terry Whitmer and Kenny Russell provided a con- 
taining power no opponent could match. 

Providing the offensive punch for the Rockets were quarterback 
Ron Davis, center Mike Wesner, tackles Stan Wenger and Ron 
Smeltzer, guard BobMasini and backs Jim Law, Bill Connel, Jerry 
Grabeklis and Bill Stanley. 

This is the Rock Falls team that played the famous "David and 
Goliath" game. Paired against the powerful Mendota Trojans - a 
team of monstrous size and scoring potential - the Rockets were not 
only playing to win the NCIC Conference, but to also remain unde- 
feated and untied. In a game that saw most of its action between 
the 40 yard lines, the game ended victoriously for the Rockets, 7 
to 6. 

The Rockets went on to capture their two remaining games for 
an undefeated and untied season. 

1924-25 Rock Falls High School Basketball Team 

Track Team 

High School Football Team of 1924 
The Rock Falls High School football team of 1924, with Hugh 
Harrison as coach and Loomis Wheelock as captain, compiled one 
of the finest records ever attained by any football team before or 
since at the local school. The season record was a clean-sweep of 
nine consecutive victories without defeat and by a whopping 234 
points for Rock Falls and only 12 points for their opponents . The 
only team to cross the Rock Falls goal line that year was Rochelle, 
who accounted for the 12 points. 

In photo, left to right, front row, are: Coach Harrison, Tomp- 
kins, Shoemaker, Logan, Captain L. Wheelock, Pignatelli, McFalls 
and Cameron, the team's business manager. 

Back row, left to right, are: Hoover, Little, Schutt, Johnson, 
WlUett, E. Wheelock, Wright, Weber and Darnell. 

•f * ^ ♦ I I * t 

1924-25 Football Te 

The 1924-25 Rock Falls High School basketball team, coached 
by Hugh Harrison and captained by Carlo Pignatelli, won the Rock 
River Conference, were runners-up in the Moline Tournament and 
finished fourth in the Illinois Wesleyan Tournament that year. 

In photo above, front row, left to right, are: Johnson, Captain 
Pignatelli and Huntsberger. Second row, left to right, are: Wright, 
Schutt andMcFalls. Back row, left to right, are: Weber, E. Wheel- 
ock, Coach Harrison, Willett and L. Wheelock. 

High School Track Team 

One of the finest and first Rock Falls High School track team to 
ever bring statewide recognition to the local school is the 1925 team 
in photo above. This team won the mile relay at the Bloomington 
Wesleyan Meet and won three relay races at the Sterling High School 
track meet that year. 

In photo, seated left to right, are: McFalls and Huntsberger. 
Second row, left to right, are: Luesby, Logan, Darnell and Gaulrapp. 
Back row, left to right, are: Weber, Johnson, Captain Schutt, 
Wheelock and Coach Hugh Harrison. 

Little League 

The sports story in our community would not be complete with- 
out mentioning the Rock Falls Little League and the Rock Falls Babe 
Ruth League baseball teams. 

The Little League was organized in 1954 as an activity for boys 
8 to 12 years in age . Lloyd Hinders did much of the work in organ- 
izing this activity and was its first president. The Little League 
has expanded from its original eight teams and now has eight minor 
league teams as well. In the summer of 1966, there were 280 boys 
who were participating. 

Uniforms were purchased in 1964, at which time costs of sup- 
porting the Little League amounted to $2,900.00. Since then ex- 
penses have dropped to about $1900.00 annually. 

The sponsors of teams have been Optimist Club, Kiwanis Club, 
Rotary Club, Disco Foods, Eagles Club, Local 63, The American 
Legion and also an anonymous giver. 

The coaches and other helpers are parents or individuals who 
realize the need for this activity for the boys . 

Dale Henderson is the president for 1967. 






Phone 625-1123 


General Distributing 


31 Years of Serving 
the Rock River Valley 


PHONE MA 5-0109 

111 ree tings 




1925 - 1967 

Our 42nd Year in 
Rock Falls 


Compliments & Greetings 




DIAL 625-2763 

Jet. of P-Town Road & Rt. 30 
Rock Falls, Illinois 

Babe Ruth League Baseball 

The Rock Falls Babe Ruth League for 13 to 15 year olds, was 
organized in 1955 with the following officers: John Stanley, presi- 
dent; Alonzo Anderson, vice president; Roy Dickinson, treasurer 
and Harry Viren, secretary. Four teams were formed and games 
were played at Wallingford Park. In 1956, through the help of the 
Rock Falls Optimist Club, Dillon Park was dedicated, lights were 
installed, back stops were erected and bleachers were built. That 
same year the Babe Ruth Auxiliary was organized and took charge 
of the concession stand. In 1958, funds were raised with a success- 
ful Pancake Supper. In 1960, two new teams were added and the 
players ofall sixteams were provided with uniforms. The sponsors 
wereParrish-Alford, Rock Falls Merchants, Wood Shovel and Tool, 
Service Stations, Rock Falls Optimist Club and Disco Foods. New 
dugouts were also installed during the year. In 1961, a new con- 
cession stand was installed for the Babe Ruth Auxiliary. The All- 
Stars enjoyed a successful season by winning their own District 
Tournament, the Regional Tournament and then went on to place 
third in the state. Through the help of the Rock Falls Chamber of 
Commerce, an overhauling job was done at Dillon Park. Lights 
were sent to the factory for refinishing, a permanent fence was 
erected around the park, a new electric score board was placed in 
center field, and a booth was built above the concession stand for 
the announcer. During the years, the following men, in addition to 
the original officers, served: J. Meyers, Elmer McNinch, Orville 
Bronson, Glen Whitmer, Wells Shearer, Victor Alexander, Dale 
Payne, Clark Wasson, Silvio Tintori, Lowell Spencer, Avie Masini, 
Dale Henderson, Clarence Schuler, Wayne Hendrix and Bernard 
Warkins. The 1967 officers are Wayne Hendrix, president, Jerry 
Yeoard, vice president, Ross Harrison, secretary-treasurer and 
Ray Mills, player agent and equipment manager. 

The Rock Falls Babe Ruth League will be starting its twelfth 
year and much of the success during these years is due to the Babe 
Ruth Auxiliary, Civic Youth Council, the sponsors, officers, man- 
agers, coaches and the many others who have helped in this worthy 

Miss Schutt has done well in national championship meets. Her 
latest accomplishment was a fifth place finish in a field of over 100 
women at the Women's National AAU Cross Country Championships 
in St. Louis. Sports Illustrated carried a story of this meet in the 
December 5, 1966 issue. 

The following is a list of the Rock Falls' runners best competi- 
tive times to date: 220 yard dash - 26.5; 440 yard dash - 58.9; 880 
yard run - 2. 12.7; 1500 meters - 4:39.6; mile - 5:14 and one and 
one-half mile - 8:32. 

At present, Lori is a graduate student at the University of Illi- 
nois and is a member of the Central Illinois Track Club in Cham- 
paign. Her coach is Dr. Nell C. Jackson, former Olympic competi- 

The answer to why Lori runs can best be gained from the fol- 
lowing article she wrote while at Illinois State: 

"Travel, people, situations - all these are interesting. If there 
needs be justification for running other than running itself, these 
are certainly eligible for consideration, but the values inherent in 
running itself have considerable merit. 

"I consider running to be an art form. Like all art forms, it 
provides opportunities for self-realization. It can bring one closer 
to realizing his fullest potential as a human being. There is a cer- 
tain beauty in any well executed human movement. Add to this the 
feeling of freedom when extraneous factors are minimized and one 
is running well, and the result is a feeling that is difficult to sur- 
pass or explain. 

"In a sense, the freedom of which I speak, is a freedom of un- 
inhibited productiveness . The entire feeling, of which this is a com- 
ponent, can best be explained as poetry in motion with the runner 
or poet." 

With such an outlook on running as observed by the young Schutt 
girl, one can expect just about anything from her on the track field 
in the next few years . 

Lori Schutt 

One look at the hundreds of ribbons, medals, trophys and other 
miscellaneous awards acquired by one young Rock Falls girl soon 
has one realizing that the sport's world is not strictly dominated by 
male athletes. 

Lori Schutt, the daughter of Paul and the late Evelyn Schutt of 
205 14th Avenue, Rock Falls, has been making her presence felt on 
the national sports level for the past three years. Lori is a runner 
. . . and a remarkably good one ! 

Lori has been running since she was a junior at Illinois State 
University at Normal. Now in her third year of competition, she is 
running toward the 1967 Pan-American games and the 1968 Olympics 
in Mexico City. 


In the summer of 1950, His Excellency Bishop Boylan establish- 
ed the parish of St. Andrew The Apostle in Rock Falls. The very 
important "spade work" of organizing a new parish was very well 
carried out 'by the first pastor Father Joseph TuUy. At that time, 
Mr. Leo Wahl of Sterling gave a piece of property on the corner of 
First Avenue and East Tenth Street to be used for the new parish. 
In order to get the parish going Immediately, Father TuUy persuad- 
ed Mr. Wahl to switch the gift of this lot to an already constructed 
building at 800 Fourth Avenue to be used as a temporary structure 
pending the completions of plans for a permanent building. This, 
Mr. Wahl very graciously consented to do. 

In the meantime. Father TuUy looked around the community and 
after studying the trends In city development, purchased the pro- 
perty on Eleventh Avenue and West Tenth Street. Meanwhile pre- 
liminary plans were drawn up for a school building. 

On January 1, 1951, Father Burwell Beddoes succeeded Father 
TuUy as pastor. Additional property on Eleventh Avenue was pur- 
chased and John J. Flad & Associates, Architects and Engineers of 
Madison, Wisconsin were called in. The problem of building eco- 
nomically, adequately and permanently was presented to them. Mr. 
Flad then presented the plans of the building which now stands on 
the corner of Eleventh Avenue and West Seventh Street. 

Ground was broken on November 21, 1951 and with the steady 
progress characteristic of the T.S. Willis Company, the General 
Contractor, the work moved forward through the winter, spring and 
summer, until on September 3, 1952, St. Andrew's Grade School 
opened its doors for the first time to 202 pupils in the eight elemen- 
tary grades. 

Fortunately for the parish. Father TuUy had made a contract 
with the Sisters of Loretto of the Foot of the Cross of Loretto, 
Kentucky, to staff the school. For this purpose, there came to 
Rock Falls in August of 1952, Sister Mary Eileen as the Superior, 
Sister Mary Bernard Therese, Sister Mary Rosamond, and Sister 
Mary Jean. 

On the Feast of Christ the King, October 26, 1952, the auditor- 
ium wing of the buUding was the scene of great joy as the parish- 
ioners attended their First Mass in the new building and began their 
annual Forty Hours of Adoration in Thanksgiving for the many, 
many blessings given them by Our Blessed Lord. 

On Sunday afternoon, May 18, 1952, in the presence of a goodly 
gathering of Clergy and the faithful, the pastor. Father Beddoes, 
laid the cornerstone of the new building. 

Father Beddoes purchased a home at 505 Seventh Avenue In 
February 1952 to be used as a Rectory. 

A home was also purchased at 901 West Tenth Street in Decem- 
ber 1951 to be used as a Convent for the Sisters-. This home was 
old and needed much remodeling so the parishioners all pitched in 
to help. The men built a new Chapel on the house and put In some 
new ceilings and floors . The women helped by painting the rooms 
and cleaning the house so it would be ready for the Sisters. This 
workwas alldonated by the parishioners who worked on this project. 

Father Beddoes was transferred to another parish in 1957 and 
Father Boland came to St. Andrews. After being here a short time, 
he sold the Rectory on Seventh Avenue and bought the home at 701 
Tenth Avenue, as he wanted to be closer to the Church. 

Father Boland stayed here until 1960 and then Father Kriegsman 
was pastor until June 1963. He was transferred in 1963 and Father 
Hetterman came and was pastor until July 1966. Then Father Mc- 
Namee came and is now our pastor. 

The assistants were: Father Lawrence London from 1954 to 
1958, Father Wm. Meyers, 1958 to 1962, Father Richard Paddock, 
1962 to 1965, Father Alfred Kruk from 1965 and still here. 

The first baptisms took place October 15th, 1950 in the first 
church on Fourth Avenue. The following six were christened: Kevin 
P. Riley, Michael J. Hannon, Sharon A. Hannon, Janet M. Arduini, 
Sharon A. Appenzellar and Linda A. Foley. The first christening 
in the church on Eleventh Avenue was on November 9, 1952, and 
Wilma J. Johnson and John S. Lewandowski were made children of 
God by the sacrament of baptism. 

The first wedding took place on November 1, 1950 in the tem- 
porary church building between Leo J. Foley and Victoria Felsleit- 
ner. The first wedding in the new church took place between Jane 
Scott and Joseph Bianchi. 

The Altar and Rosary Society was formed in 1950 with Louise 
Hemes as president. 

The Holy Name Society was organized in 1950 with Henry Kaup 
as president. 

The first organist was Mrs. S.A. Murphy, who so faithfully has 
continued to play down through the years . 

Mrs. Helen Conway directed the first choir. 

We, the parishioners of Saint Andrews Catholic Church are 
proud and happy to participate in the Rock Falls Centennial. 

St. Andrew's School for the year of 1966 - 1967 has an enroll- 
ment of 342 boys and girls, grades one through eight. 

The faculty today: Sr. Marietta, principal, Sr. Gllmary, Sr. 
Regina Marie, Sr. Mary Edward and Sr. John Maura, all Sisters 
of Loretto. The Lay Teachers are: Miss Mary Kay Forehand, Mrs. 
Madeline Lutyens, Mrs. HarryKobbeman and Mrs. Joanne Papoccia. 

The faculty and children are also happy to be part of the Cen- 

St. Andrew's Parish 


The year 1867 was a special year of beginnings for Rock Falls 
citizens. It was thirty-eight years later on March 18, 1905 that a 
little group of Christians met in the home of W.Y. Young in Rock 
Falls, to organize themselves into a company of believers, known 
as Seventh Day Adventists. At the conclusion of this meeting, 14 
• individuals became charter members . 

The first contact of a Seventh Day Adventist minister made by 
this little group was Pastor Covert, who came to Rock Falls for one 
day, November 26, 1905. He called a business meeting and helped 
organize a young people's society (youth group). The first rally was 
held December 3, 1905 in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Wright. 

On January 15, 1908, the first "Liberty" magazines (a magazine 
dedicated to religious liberty through the separation of church and 
state) were received for circulation among the businessmen of Rock 
Falls and Sterling. 

January 12, 1912, after two years of waiting. Pastor F.J. Harris 
came to conduct the first communion service, which was preceeded 
by the New Testament ordinance of foot-washing. Among those 
carrying on church work at this time were: John H. Hicks, leader; 
Charles Puels, treasurer; Eva Hicks, clerk and missionary secre- 

On March 17, 1917, Pastor J.H. Schilling, president of the 
Illinois Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, held an all day 
meeting in a hall in downtown Rock Falls. This was the first time 
all offices of the church were filled. 

On Wednesday, August 14, 1935, Pastors C. Ray Kinney and 
Wellman opened a series of meetings under a large screened tent. 
Meetings ended September 29, 1935 and on October 12, five new 
members were added to the church. 

As the church grew, it occupied the Odd Fellows HaU in Sterling 
for seven years . 

With the help of friends in the Sterling-Rock Falls community, 
as well as the liberality of the Illinois Conference, a church was 
built as the money was earned, so that construction could proceed 
without debt of any kind. First services in the new church were held 
March 20, 1943 with dedication made on the Sabbath, Saturday, 
September 15, 1951. 

In the present year of 1967, plans are being made for a new 
full-time elementary school-church combination, so that future 
leaders might be fitted tor Christian citizenship not only in Rock 
Falls, but in the earth made new. 

The Sunday School, conducted by Richard Arey, Sr. , in the old 
brick schoolhouse east of Rock Falls, on the Dixon Road, was one 
of the earliest religious institutions in the community. It changed 
its location to the new school building on the corner opposite the 
Rock Falls Bank, where it continued as a Union Sabbath school from 
1868 to 1871 with James A. Patterson as superintendent. At this 
time, It was merged into the Methodist Episcopal Sabbath school. 
Lawrence Woodford was elected the first superintendent of the re- 
organized school. 

During the winter of 1868-1869, a revival service was conducted 
by Rev. Ailing and Denning, of the Fourth St. and Broadway church- 
es of Sterling, Illinois, assisted by Dr. J.H. Moore, Presiding 
Elder. Such an interest was awakened that a class was at once 
formed and the little society began its independent existence. 

The need of a church building was very urgent and during the 
Spring of 1869, a petition was circulated to raise money for the 
erection of a modest edifice. In a short time, $1, 825 was subscrib- 
ed for a building. On July 10, 1869, the first money was paid to the 
treasurer, J. A. Bickford. Ground was broken on a lot purchased 
from A.L. Merrill for $300. Before the fall of 1869, the buUding 
was enclosed, building papers put on rafters above, and stoves 
were put in, so that it was used during the spring of 1870 with only 
temporary inconveniences. Rev. W.H. Smith, the new pastor of 
Fourth St. M.E. Church, greatly enthused the congregation and the 
church increased in interest and numbers . Labor resumed on the 

Methodist Church 

On the eve of December 14, 1869, the society held an oyster 
supper and festival and with the funds thus raised, purchased of 
C.S. Mills, music dealer in Sterling, on Christmas Day, 1869, a 
$140 no. 7 Burdette organ. At the conference of 1870, held in Elgin, 
Illinois, the sum of $100 was appropriated by the committee on 
missions for the support of the work In Rock Falls. October 11, 
1870, John A. Stayt was appointed as the first pastor. With a 
settled pastor to guide the society in its efforts, the church was 
finished. Brother Stayt worked with the carpenters and expended 
much hard labor in bringing the plans to completion. The dedica- 
tion of the church, costing $4,189.07, took place in April, 1871, 
under the charge of Dr. J.H. Moore, Presiding Elder, who retired 
April 18, 1871 to live in Polo, Illinois. 

The first bell was hung in the tower but was found to be cracked 
and was taken down and returned to the foundry. The present bell 
was hung In place on March 22, 1872. 

In the early part of the pastorate of Rev. John A. Stayt, preach- 
ing points were established at Hume Center and Bayne's Comers, 
each contributing liberally to the support of the work on the charge. 

At a meeting of the church held October 11, 1871, plans were 
discussed and formulated for the procuring of a lot, and building a 
parsonage. A committee, consisting of Rev. J. A. Stayt, J. A. Bick- 
ford and A.F.R. Emmons were appointed for that purpose and on 
November 1, 1871, a lot was purchased for $300 and work begun on 
a home for the pastor. The work of building the house was under the 
direction of W.H. Swingley. It was Completed at a cost of$l,104.77 
and turned over to the committee October 15, 1872. 

Those appearing on the subscription list as giving $100 or more 
towards the building were: M.L. Cow, J. A. Patterson, J.L. Mor- 
rill, C.K. Brown, A.W. Wheeler, C.H. Payson, Andrews, Bick- 
ford and Co., R.H.Jenkins, J. P. Russell, L.K. Jenkins, T. Yoe- 
ward and J. Smith. Among other subscriptions was a $100 buggy 
given to the church by C.K. Brown. 

The first trustees of the organization approved at the first quar- 
terly conference of the denomination, held November 18, 1870 were 
R.H. Jenkins, J. A. Bickford, C.K. Brown, J.L. Morrill and 
Marcus L. Company. 

An interesting relic among the data was of the Chicago fire. A 
note amounting to $288 was given to George A. Misch and Bro. 
Mfg., Chicago, for the purchase of stained glass windows for the 
church. During the interm of its possession by Misch and Bro., 
the great Chicago fire occurred, October 9, 1871. The entire plant 
worth $40,000 (including plans, accounts, etc. ,) were lost. Upon 
opening their safe, which was so damaged that it could hardly be 
wedged apart, the notes, accounts, etc. were found to be so charred 
and blackened that they were hardly recognizable. Among them was 
the note given by the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church of 
Rock Falls. The firm informed the church treasurer of their loss 
and begged the trustees to advance payment of the note, not due 
until March 1872, and upon its payment was returned to the treas- 
urer. It was so charred and blackened that it hardly held together. 
However, the glistening printers ink still shows on the charred 
sheet and makes the figures plainly decernable . 

During the two year pastorate of John A. Stayt, the charge re- 
ceived $100 each year from the missionary committee toward the 
support of a pastor. At the close of 1872, the charge had grown 
from an almost chaotic nothingness to a membership of 87, having 
three Sunday Schools; one at Rock Falls, one at Banes Corners and 
one at Hume with a total attendance of 388. 

At the conference, the pastor reported a church building worth 
$5,000, a parsonage worth $1,100 and as having received $700 
salary and$160 in donations for the first year and $900 and the use 
of the parsonage for the second year. 

By 1873 the church became self-supporting. The membership 
grew to 158, with a Sabbath School having an attendance of 214 

There have gone out from this charge into the ministry or other 
religious labors Rev. W.H. Tuttles; Rev. W.O. Sheppard; Rev. 
Fred D. Stone; Rev. George A. Wells; Rev. Albert E. Coe; Prof. 
Oscar Triggs of Chicago University and O.A. Oliver, ex-treasurer 
of the Western Methodist Book Concern. 

Among the early members prior to 1875, Mrs. Mary A. Payson, 
Mrs. Isabell Stone, Martin Detrlck, Mr. and Mrs. N.G. Van Sant, 
R.L. Leitch, Mrs. Rachael Coe, Cora B. Coe, Elizabeth N. Coe, 
Mrs. Mary E. Davison, Mrs. Mary A. Morrison, Mrs. Nancy 
Emmons and Mr. and Mrs. W.B. Emmons. 

The first communion set, which was made of solid silver, was 
presented by A.W. Wheeler and wife. It's still being preserved, 
after being used regularly up to December 10, 1905. 

The first organist was Clara Hapgood (Mrs. C. Glassburn). 
Alpheus Fox was the first chorister. The first superintendent of 
the Methodist Sabbath School was Lawrence Woodford. 

Extensive improvements were made on the parsonage In Sep- 
tember 1881, when an addition was built; the house thoroughly re- 
novated and repaired. An addition (12 x 18) to the church was ac- 
complished during the winter of 1882, providing a place for social 
and week day service of the church. 

Between 1870-1888, ten pastors served the church. During the 
pastorate of M.M. Bales (1888-1891), the church was completely 
remodeled, extensive additions were made and the interior rear- 
ranged. More renovating and repair work was done In the summer 



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of 1904. On September 18, 1904, the church was reopened and the 
parsonage dedicated. Subscriptions taken reduced the Indebtedness 
to $1,600. 

Between 1891 to 1916, nine pastors served the parish. During 
the pastoratfe of Alfred Slmlster (1916-1922) the church burned to 
the ground; In January 1921. The passing of this old landmark and 
spiritual home was a great loss. The pastor and officials planned 
a new church very shortly. A subscription list was started and 
enough subscribed to Justify the building committee to begin oper- 
ation. The comer stone was laid in October 1922 and in September 
1923, the present Methodist Church was dedicated. 

Pastors serving the church up to the present time have been J. 
J. Kitchens, 1922-1926; S.H. Wirsching, 1926-1928; J. O. Craw- 
ford, 1929-1933; R.W. Furmish, 1934-1937; James R. Uhllnger, 
1938-1942; Wayne Leighty, 1943-1947; A.E. Blomberg, 1948-1949; 
F.E. Frankson, 1949-1950; Paul Gilbert, 1950-1952; Norman C. 
Miller, 1953-1956; and Ivan J. Obenshain, 1956—. 

During the pastorate of Norman C. Miller, the chancel of the 
sanctuary was completely remodeled and the pipe organ, which was 
a memorial gift, was installed. The church kitchen was also re- 

During the pastorate of the present pastor. Rev. Ivan J. Oben- 
shain, a new educational wing has been added on the south side. A 
memorial chapel on the second floor of the church has been fur- 
nished by families in memory of loved ones. 

Rev. Obenshain will have completed, in this centennial year, 
his tenth year in this pastorate and is retiring from the ministry 
this year. 


Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 501 8th Avenue was 
organized June 17, 1877. Its first building was built on land donated 
to the congregation by Abner Merrill on what was then Payson 
Street. It was a small 54 x 32 foot frame structure, but it served 
the congregation for many years . The building was dedicated in the 
fall of 1877, and cost $1935. 

The congregation ordinarily had its own pastor, but from 1882 
to 1886, it was served by the pastor from the Lutheran Church in 

The church was renovated in 1891 and two lots adjoining the 
church were purchased. In 1892, the church was raised and a 
basement was put under it for school purposes. 

The first parsonage was built in 1894 by Dr. J.M. Reu, the 
pastor at that time. Additional church improvements were made in 
1898. In 1900, a second story was added to the parsonage and it 
was purchased from Dr. Reu. 

From the beginning of Pastor Reu's service in 1890 until the 
late 1930's, the Rock Falls pastors also served the Yorktown con- 

In 1907, a number of members of the Rock Falls congregation 
living in Sterling desired to organize a congregation of their own 
In Sterling. St. Paul's church was then organized and although the 
church was weakened by this division, the remaining members 
rallied and soon the numbers began to be replenished. 

German was the language of the church until after Rev. Wm. 
Krebs was called in 1913. Then English was introduced in the Sun- 
day School and one church service was held In English and one in 
German. German was dropped entirely during the pastorate of Wm. 
Streng . 

I I I I \^t 

Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church - About 1895 

Additional Improvements were made In the church in 1914, and 
it was rebuilt extensively in 1926. Electricity and other Improve- 
ments were made on the parsonage in 1916. 

In 1952, a portion of the parish hall was built and an additional 
part was built in 1955 . Additional land has been purchased through 
the years, including two lots south of the parsonage. Lots west and 
north of the church have been purchased for parking in more recent 

The longest pastorate through the years was that of Rev. Wm. 
Krebs. He passed away in 1933 while still pastor of the congrega- 
tion. One son, Walter became a lay missionary to New Guinea. He 
was interned by the Japanese in the early years of the second World 
War. He lost his life when the ship he was on while being moved to 
another prison camp, was bombed. 

At the congregations first meeting in 1877, there were 18 voting 
members. Now, in 1967, 90 years later, there are 1399 baptized and 
1208 confirmed members in Immanuel Lutheran Congregation. 

Pastors having served Immanuel Lutheran in its 90 year history 
are: Rev. StoU, 1877-1879; Rev. G. Beitz, 1879-1882; Rev. Stauf- 
enberg, 1882-1890;Rev. J.M. Reu, 1890-1899; Rev. J. Weyrauch, 
1899-1903; Rev. E. Hafermann, 1903-1913; Rev. Wm. Krebs, 
1913-1933;Rev. Wm. Streng, 1933-1957; Rev. D. Comnick, 1947- 
1961; Rev. E.A. Henrichs, 1961-. 

Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church 


The First Congregational Church of Rock Falls, Illinois was 
formed from a nucleus from the First Congregational Church of 
Sterling, Illinois. The people of Rock Falls, who had been attend- 
ing the Sterling church, felt that the time had come to organize a 
Congregational Church on the south side of Rock River. 

A meeting was called at the Rock Falls Methodist Church on 
December 26, 1875. Rev. S.D. Belt, who had been the minister in 
the Sterling church from January 20, 1874 to October 1, 1875, 
along with Rev. J.E. Roy, D.D., Rev. Rufus Apthorp and Rev. 
MoConnel helped organize the new group. 

The charter members were as follows; Richard Arey, Mrs. 
Mary A. Arey, Mrs. Sarah E. Phelps, Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Rice, 
Mrs. Sophia E. Wright, Miss Fannie Wright, James C. Arey, Mrs. 
Mary E. Arey, Miss Hattie Arey, Mr. and Mrs. James Alpress, 
Augustus Edgerton, Mrs. Delia S. Edgerton and Mrs. Emiline H. 

The first deacons elected were Richard Arey, Charles Saxton 
and J . B . Hand . 

The upper room of the schoolhouse built in 1868 and located on 
the corner of Elm and Bridge streets (First Avenue and Third 



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street) was made suitable as a place of worship and was used reg- 
ularly until a church could be built. 

A Sabbath School was organized January 2, 1876, with about 
fifty members and Rev. Belt as superintendent and L. Tuttle sec- 
tary; and met after the morning worship service. 

On March 12, 1876, the church held its first communion ser- 
vice in the schoolhouse. Rev. S.D. Belt and Rev. Rufus Apthorp 
officiated. Forty-two members received the right hand of fellow- 

On August 9, 1876, the lots on which the church was later built 
were received from Augustus P. Smith, who donated the lots to the 

On September 4, 1876, the cornerstone of the church was laid. 
Soon after, the lumber and materials were ready. With members 
of the church helping with the work, and Philo Meacham serving 
as superintendent of the project, the first story and basement (40 
X 75) was completed at a cost of $3, 627. 73. 

One of the outstanding windows was a small one set high in the 
wall, at the back of the sanctuary, that was referred to by the con- 
gregation, as the "Eye of God. "No one seems to know what became 
of it when the church was demolished in 1959. 

The church membership was eighty and the Sunday School 
reached one hundred fifty by 1877. 

The next undertaking, about 1883, was to add twelve feet to the 
front of the building. The contract was let to E.G. Palmer and 
M.C. Dearman and finished at the cost of $2,254.33. There was a 
belfry built on the northeast corner of the building and a bell hung, 
but it did not weather well and was later removed. 

In the spring of 1885, preparations were made to plaster and 
finish off the audience room on the second floor of the church. In 
June of 1886, Keeney and Harrison of Sterling were awarded the 
contract. Carpenter work, furnishing, finishing and seating cost 
$2,508.81. The dedication of the new sanctuary was held in Novem- 
ber 1886. The members then had a large room for worship and had 
all of the church debt paid. 

In the spring of 1894, extensive repairs, redecorating, etc., 
were done. Members of the church did most of the work themselves. 
Janitor service was often taken over by the church members. 

In October 1895, Davis and Thomas contracted to wire thechurch 
for electric lights. About fifty lamps were used. The old oil lamps 
were saved for awhile as they occasionally had to be dug out of the 
closets when the electricity failed. Earl Lutyens has one of these 
old lamps which he found in the church attic . 

First Congregational Church 

In the fall of 1896, a new coal house was added to the northwest 
comer of the church and a door cut through into the basement near 
the furnace. Members of thechurch donated their time and skill for 
this project. 

In July of 1888, the church members discussed ways and means 
for the erection or purchase of a parsonage. It wasn't until a meet- 
ing on March 23, 1901, that by a unanimous vote, authority and 
instruction was given to the trustees to purchase the house nearest 
the church. The minister was required to pay rent for its use. 

In the spring of 1897, the space in the north end of the entrance 
hall of the church was converted into a pastor's study. Mr. E.R. 
Nims did the carpenter work. 

In 1923, a pipe organ was installed, a gift to the church from 
the family of Mrs. Susan M. Brown, who had been a faithful mem- 
ber and worker in the church for many years . 

New pulpit fittings were purchased to replace the old ones in 

On January 29, 1956, the church's 80th anniversary was cele- 
brated, with the Rev. John F. Corpe, of the Mont Clara Congrega- 
tional Church of Chicago, a former minister here, as guest speaker. 

It was about this time that it became evident that the sanctuary 
and church, as a whole, were in bad repair. With the parking situ- 
ation as it was and the trend of the times (to move out of town) 
plans should be made to sell, and buy with an eye to the future. 

On Sunday, May 27, 1956, the moderator, Donald McNlnch, 
appointed a planning committee and an architect was contacted for 
sketches for a complete new structure. 

On October 12, 1957, the property on First Avenue was sold to 
the Rock Falls National Bank and on the same day, plans were made 
to purchase the property on Dixon Road, known as the Hospital 
Association property. A building chairman was approved and the 
necessary plans completed for a new church. 

On July 20, 1958, ground breaking services were held at the 
new church site with Rev. C. McCall of the State Conference as- 
sisting Rev. R. Fate. Work on the church started August 4, 1958. 
Doors to the old church closed on Sunday, June 14, 1959, with a 
special service and the twelve oldest members recognized. Services 
were held in Thome School from June 21, 1959, to July 1959 and on 
July 26, 1959, the first worship service was held in the new sanc- 

Dedication service was held Sunday afternoon, September 27, 
1959. The total cost of the new building and property, including the 
rebuilding and installation of the organ was $173, 119.96. 

Present trustees are: W.R. Bose, Milton F. Ward, Elwyn R. 
Stevens, Harold D. Wolber, A.E. Corzett, W.R. McCoy, Earl 
George and W.J. Sowles. 

In the spring of 1963, the members agreed to build a new par- 
sonage, so a committee was appointed and the work proceeded. The 
pastor and his family moved into the new parsonage on January 29, 
1964. Elwyn Stevens and William Tewell, Jr. gave many hours to 
the erection of this new house. 

A growing Sunday School has contributed much to form a sound 
foundation for a Christian life. 

D.C. Cow was the first Sunday School superintendent and served 
20 years. Others included J.H. Mechling, Harold Downey, Fred 
Howe, Miss Alice Swanson and Frank Swanson. The late Mrs. J.F. 
Sensenbaugh will long be remembered for her dedicated teaching in 
the junior department. Thelma McNlnch has served nearly 40 years 
in the beginners department. The present superintendent is Mrs. 
Ruth Carter. 

In early years, young people were organized into a Christian 
Endeavor. Under the pastorate of Rev. J.F. Corpe, the Lamba 
Tau Pi young people's society was formed. The Pilgrim Fellowship 
now serves the young people of the church. 

On May 15, 1878, the Ladies Mite Society was formed. This was 
a very active organization. Church suppers, ice cream "sociables", 
with musical entertainment provided fun for all and neat sums to 
add to the treasury. The J.W. Nims family orchestra and some- 
times the well-known Keystone Band furnished music. 

About 1927, the Social Circle eventually replaced the Mite So- 
ciety and it in turn was replaced by the Women's Fellowship, which 
still functions as a strong branch of the church. 

Present officers are: Mrs. J. Sumption, Mrs. Hal Christianson, 
Mrs. Austin Corzett and Mrs. Stanley Reeser. 

The Berean Bible Class, organized in 1922, has been a helpful 
organization in furthering church activities. 

Singing in the first church was unaccompanied and a chorister, 
or leader was appointed. Edgar R. Nlms was the first chorister 
and Nellie Nims was the first organist. In 1895, Miss Ella Rich- 
ards, of Sterling, directed the choir. Otherdirectors included S.D. 
D. Ousterhout, J.W. Johnstone, Prof. James B. Wallace and A. A. 
Woodyatt. The present director is Mrs. Mabel Peterson. 

In 1917, Miss Ruth Limerick was pianist and later Miss Ruth 
Downey . 

Rev. S.D. Belt, the first pastor, served from December 26, 
1875-1880; Rufus Apthorp, Mrs. Libbey and W. Cone served from 
1881 to 1886. A total of fourteen ministers served here from 1887 
to April 1929. J.F. Corpe, Omar J. Flugum, LeRoy N. Fielding, 
J.B. Clyde, B.F. Hern, Russell L. Fate and Dean Chasteen la- 
bored here from July 1, 1929 to June 1966. Since July 1966, the 
church continued to work under the leadership of Rev. Donald 

The church has not lived for itself alone but has provided, pre- 
pared and sent forth young people, together with money, into the 
extended service of Christian activity. The history of the past, in- 
spires and challenges us to still greater development in the future. 

First Congregational Church 


Writing the history of a church is like trying to hit a moving 
target. It never stands still or stops moving long enough for you to 
record its progress really up to date. The First Southern Baptist 
Church of Rock Falls is no exception. First Southern can only claim 
16 years out of the 100 years of Rock Falls' history, but it looks 
forward to many years of meaningful service in the Rock Falls 

The Southern Baptist Church had its beginning in the hearts of 
Baptist people who moved into Rock Falls and found that there was 
no Southern Baptist Church. They were surprised and disappointed. 
A small group began to meet during the early part of 1951 for pray- 
er meetings in the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Ford who at that 
time lived on Shore Acres Drive. When they started to talk about a 
church in Rock Falls, they were told that, "There has never been 
a Missionary Baptist Church here". This did not quench their de- 
sire to have a church of their own faith. The closest Southern Bap- 
tist Church at the time was at Peoria. 

Early inMay of 1951, a letter was written to a pastor in Harvey, 
Illinois, Rev. Earl Finney, who was known by the people here. His 
advice in the matter of getting a church started was sought. Rev. 
Finney contacted Rev. A.G. Rednour, pioneer missionary for the 
Chicago area. In a short time, Rev. Finney and Rev. Rednour 
visited the Rock Falls area and did some survey work. They de- 
cided that a church indeed was needed and possible in this area. 

On May 24, 1951 at 7:30 p.m., the First Southern Baptist 
Church of Rock Falls was organized in the Trager Hall with 15 
charter members. Before the charter was closed, 2 others came 
into the fellowship to make a total of 17 charter members. Repre- 
sentatives of the Illinois Baptist State Association were present In- 
cluding the State Secretary at that time. Dr. Noel M. Taylor. 

The church then moved its meeting place to the Odd Fellows 
Hall In Sterling where they continued to meet until September of 
1951. The first meeting of the church in Sterling was attended by 

26 interested people. Though the group met in Sterling, they con- 
tinued to make plans for their church to be built in Rock Falls. 

On June 10, 1951, the church called her first pastor. Rev. Troy 
Butler who served as pastor until December of that year. 

On July 20, 1951, two large lots were purchased at the corner 
of 9th Avenue and West 12th Street. This was to become the home 
of the church. The purchase of this property was made possible in 
part by a gift from the Illinois Baptist State Association, but more 
important, by the sacrificial gifts of the small membership of the 
church, with no Southern Baptist work to the north at all and a very 
small amount of work in the Chicago area. As It turned out, the 
First Southern Baptist church was the trunk from which all of the 
work in Sterling and Rock Falls area was to begin. 

In September of 1951, a tent was placed on the lots at 902 West 
12th Street for a meeting place and the first unit was started on the 
building. In November of 1951, the church began to meet in the not 
yet completed building. As one member recalls from these early 
days, "We had a small stove in the one room. We all sat around 
the stove and the preacher stood by it and preached. You could 
usually tell if there was a fire In the stove, by going up and putting 
your hand on it." 

On July 2, 1952, Rev. William E. Pratt came as pastor of the 
church and finished the building of the church. He remained with 
the work until June 9, 1954. During this time the church had a good 
deal of Increase and growth. 

On January 23, 1955, the church called Rev. Dee T. Speers as 
pastor. Rev. Speers was to lead the church on June 27, 1956 to 
begin plans to enlarge the building and add educational space. This 
work was done before June of 1957 and remains as the basic plant 
of the church at this time. Rev. Speers continued as pastor until 
July 7, 1960. 

On October 15, 1960, Rev. James Crawford became the pastor 
and served in a fine manner until May 23, 1962. 

On October 8, 1962, Rev. Ottis Meadows became the pastor and 
he served faithfully until July 6, 1966. 

The present pastor. Rev. Thomas B. Reiff was called as pastor 
on October 19, 1966. The pastor and his family reside in the 
church's parsonage at 302 12th Avenue. 

Nine charter members remain In the church at this time. They 
are: Mr. and Mrs. James Ford, Mr. and Mrs. Bennle Martin, Mr. 
and Mrs. Claude Miller, Mrs. Lova Wyatt, Mrs. Lonette McKnight 
and Mr. Robert Miller. 

The church has two ordained deacons to work with the church 
and the pastor. They are Mr. James Ford and Mr. Claude. Miller. 
The membership at the present time is about 125 with an average 
attendance inihe worship of the church at about 65. 

Throughout its history, the church has been missionary. It has 
sponsored a mission in Clinton, Iowa; Latin American Mission in 
Sterling, and for nearly a year, the Emerson Baptist Chapel at 

We are proud to be a part of the Rock Falls Community. We re- 
joice In the years of past history, but more we look into the future 
of Rock Falls and pray that we can have a part in making It a better 
community to live, work and worship in. 


The Rock Falls Assembly of God Church is one of approximately 
10,000 Assemblies of God churches in the United States. It had a 
very humble beginning onjuly 3, 1949, starting with about six fam- 
ilies and meeting in the home of the founder, Rev. Harry W. Lutz, 
who is its pastor at the present time. Rev. Lutz came to Rock Falls 
in June 1946, and after pastorlng an independent church in Rock 
Falls for three years, organized theAssembly ofGod Church. From 
July 10, 1949 until December 1951, the group met in Trager Hall 
above Daggett's Drug Store. Ground was broken for its first new 
building at the corner of 10th Avenue and W. 23th St. in August 1950. 
A white concrete block building was erected with the major part of 
the construction being done by the pastor and congregation. The 
original church board at this time consisted of Robert Spealman, 
John Knapp, Nicholas Miller and B.W. Edwards, with pastor Lutz 
as chairman. 

The church was duly organized as a non-profit corporation, re- 
ceiving its charter and corporation license from the State of Illinois 
in 1949. All its property is in the name of the official board and is 
owned jointly by the board and the congregation. 

In August of 1961, ground was broken for an addition to the 
original building on 10th Avenue. 

Plans for the added structure included 13 classrooms, two au- 
ditoriums, offices, washrooms, kitchen, nursery, evangelist's 
apartment and a roomy foyer. The proposed cost was to be $90, 000, 
but with donated help, the cost was a little over half that amount. 
Another piece of property was purchased in December 1960, on the 
southeast corner of 10th Avenue and W. 12th Street for a parking 

Most of the original charter members are still with the church 
today. The present board members are: Robert Spealman, secre- 
tary; Clifford Gross, treasurer; Merrill Kidder, Earl Cobble and 
the pastor, H.W. Lutz, chairman. 

The pastor and Mrs. Lutz live in their own home which he built 
adjacent to the church edifice. 

The local church has an active missionary program, giving par- 
tial support to six foreign and two home missionaries. It has a 
Women's Missionary Council which contributes to the material 
needs of the missionaries. 

The young people of the church are organized into the "Christ's 
Ambassadors", conducting their own services each Sunday evening. 
They also participate in the church orchestra and choir, and in 
attending gospel meetings held at the Whiteside County jail in Mor- 
rison. Several of the local young people of the church have entered 
the ministry. 

The Assemblies of God accept the Holy Scriptures as the in- 
spired, infallible Word of God. Its tenet of faith includes four car- 
dinal doctrines ; (1) Salvation through faith in and personal acceptance 
of Jesus Christ as Savior; (2) the Baptism with the Holy Spirit ac- 
cording to the pattern in Acts 2; (3) Divine Healing through the 
atonement (Isa. 53:4; Matt. 8:16, 17; James 5:13, 14; and (4) the 
Second Coming of Jesus Christ (I Thess. 4:16, 17). 


With industrial expansion in the community, a rapid extension 
of Rock Falls (especially south of Route 30 and west of Route 88) , it 
became necessary to build the new Dillon Elementary School in that 
area. Through a survey of needs through the Rock River Presby- 
tery, attention was turned to Rock Falls and its needs. Student 
ministers. Rev. David B. Maxton, and other interested people, 
stimulated an interest in having a Daily Vacation Bible School dur- 
ing August of 1953. Permission was granted to use four rooms in 
Dillon School. 

Church services were also held in Dillon School until a manse 
was erected on the property that Mr. Paul Dillon donated for this 
purpose. Student ministers, members of the First Presbyterian 
Church of Sterling, and people of this Rock Falls community work- 
ed together to further the Kingdom of God. 

In 1955, the Community Presbyterian Church was organized and 
Dr. Joseph Van Roekel was called to be the first pastor. Services 
were held in the basement of the manse, until the present church 
building was constructed. 

Dedicatory services for the new church building were held in 
1956 with a large number of people attending. Rev. David B. Max- 
ton gave the dedicatory sermon. 

The church continued to grow in each department of its organi- 
zation. A Woman's Association was formed, which helped to carry 
out the work and purpose of the church. Classes In Sunday School 
were held regularly for children from three years of age on up. An 
adult Bible Class convened weekly. 

The future of the church was bright until International Harvester 
Co. relocated, and with the relocation moved a large part of the 
congregation. Several of the church families moved out of state at 
this time, also. 

Dr. Christos Vais was called to replace Dr. Van Roekel. There 
was renewed hope and some growth was shown, but illness forced 
Dr. Vais to resign. 

A supply minister and student pastors conducted services for 
some time. The church seemed destined to close its doors. Serious 
thought was given to selling the property, but because of the untir- 
ing work of Rev. Kenneth Mortonson, of the Sterling Presbyterian 
Church and those remaining in the now nearly depleted congregation, 
the church's doors were kept open. 

In 1963 the Rev. James Crangle was called. With the continuing 
help of Rev. K. Mortonson and others from the Sterling Church, 

there was a growth in the Rock Falls church. A new purpose was 
discovered and this purpose was perpetuated by the handicapped 

The Tenth Anniversary of the church was celebrated in 1965, 
when the former ministers returned, having a part in the services. 
The Rev. David B. Maxton, D.D., of Granite City, nimols gave 
the sermon in the afternoon. 

One of the most impressive and obvious aspects of the Commun- 
ity Church is the church's outreach to the handicapped. What started 
out to be a church program, developed into Self-Help Enterprises — 
a workshop for the handicapped. The grovrth of the shop was so 
great that its operation was turned over to that of the community. 

With Jan Player, Pat Griffith, and Jeannle Hay, a home for re- 
tarded men was established. The purpose of the home is to offer 
opportunities to the residents of Dixon State School to live and work 
apart from the institution. The home's supervision is now the re- 
sponsibility of Sterling-Rock Falls Council of Churches and is 
named "The Council House." 

Present day officers of the Community Presbyterian Church 
consist of the following board of Elders: Harry Hubbard, Clerk of 
Session; Richard Gillette; C.R. Manning; Walter Wolfe;Mrs. Harold 
Sames and Harry Dixon. Miss Joan Eshelman is the church organist. 

The church serves the community in many ways; offering pro- 
grams to the youth of the area - swimming, camping, crafts, field 
trips, and other like events. The counsel of the church is available 
to any who are in need. All of this is offered on anon-denominational 

The Rock Falls Community Presbyterian Church has worked In 
many areas during the past twelve years . However, the work that 
has been done and must be continued, would be of little value if it 
were not for the sole purpose of witnessing to the fact that Christ 
died for man's sin and that life can only be complete in Jesus 
Christ, the risen Savior. 

Community Presbyferion Church 


The local Rock Falls Church of the Nazarene had its beginning 
in May of 1957. Rev. Willard HoUis, who now is a pastor at Ottawa, 
Illinois, along with a few people with a vision of scriptural holiness, 
feeling the necessity of this work in Rock Falls, organized the 
church. They began worship in a small chapel on Eleventh Avenue, 
in a growing area of Rock Falls . 

Rev. Roy Nickels came as pastor in 1960, and with tremendous 
sacrifice, was successful in leading the congregation In the erec- 
tion of an adequate church building. 

The present pastor is Rev. Gale L. Goode, who came in 1964. 

At the present time, it records a membership of 73 people, a 
Sunday School enrollment of 295, and an average yearly attendance 
of over 100 in the Sunday School and morning worship service. 

Its lay leadership is provided by Mr. Orval Sliger, Sunday 
School Superintendent, Mrs. Avis Blankenship, Young People's 
Society President and Mrs. Doris Goode, World Missionary Society 

This local church is a part of the General Church of the Nazar- 
ene, with world headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. 

The Church of the Nazarene Is Welseyan in doctrine, with a 
representative type of government, preaching the Word of God 
without apology. 

Parrish-Alford Fence and Machine Company, Rock Falls 

Sincere Congratulations to the Progressive 
City of Rock Falls 
on its 100th Birthday 



The good people of Messiah Lutheran Congregation at Sterling, 
minola, affiliated with the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, had 
long dreamed of establishing a subsidiary church In Rock Falls. 
Accordingly, a small group of approximately 85 separated them- 
selves from the mother church to form a nucleus of men on a mis- 
sion to establish a Mission Church. This group met for a time at 
East Coloma School on the corner of Dixon Ave. and McNeil Road. 
It was served directly by the Rev. Eldor MeuUer, pastor of the 
home church at Sterling. Under the leadership of Pastor Mueller, 
Architects Seehausen and Munz of Rock Falls and Rockford, were 
engaged to sketch preliminary plans for the first stage of a pro- 
gressive and on-going church. 

The architects drew up a plan based on an equilateral triangle 
basis, which. In the future, can be enlarged toward the south. This 
plan was accepted by the Joint members of Messiah at Sterling, and 
the Mission at Rock Falls, with construction starting Immediately. 

In the meantime, the Rev. Robert Jahn was called as an assist- 
ant pastor and was Installed at the Mission on June 17, 1962. 

Under the combined efforts of the two pastors, the congregation 
grew to 182 communicants, 294 souls. 

On January 6, 1963, the MlssloYi Congregation entered its new 
church home, situated on 5 acres of land at the corner of Dixon Ave. 
and Martin Road. 

The congregation is currently served by the Rev. Edwin F. 
Schlade of 1311 Franklin Ct., Rock Falls, Illinois. 


The YeowardvlUe Baptist Church started as a mission of the 
Como Baptist Church in August 1959. It began with a Vacation 
Bible School and Revival. Services were held In a tent on the Steve 
Peck property. 

Rev. Aldridge as a mission pastor, began his duties August 19, 

In November 1959, the mission moved Into a house owned by 
Mrs. Mary McCombs. This building was soon outgrown and pro- 
perty was bought on Spruce St. from Jessie Stanfleld. 

The first services were held In the Spruce St. building on Oc- 
tober 2, 1960, with 52 charter members. 

During the pastorate of Rev. Aldridge, property was bought at 
the comer of Walter and Walnut Streets for future building. Rev. 
Aldridge left in August 1962 to attend Clarke College in Newton, 
Mississippi. Rev. Kenneth Sears served as interim pastor until 
January 1963. Rev. Wilbur Beadle served the church until January 

In February 1964, Rev. Aldridge returned to serve the church. 

The church voted to begin construction of a new building on the 
property at Walnut and Walter Streets, with ground breaking ser- 
vices held on August 9, 1964. The building committee was Bob 
Doyle, Ted Aldridge, Alvin Lewellen and Joe Stanfleld. Harold 
Mohrman served as construction foreman with members of the con- 
gregation donating labor. As the result of wonderful cooperation and 
long hours of hard work, first services were held in the new church 
on Thanksgiving Day, 1964. 

The church voted to change the name from YeowardvlUe Baptist 
Church to Maranatha Baptist Church in YeowardvlUe. This was 
done to give the church a Bibical name. 

In March 1966, construction was begun on a home for their 
pastor. The home is constructed of brick to match the church. As 
a result of all the donated labor by members, construction costs 
have been kept to about half the valuation of the church property. 

Maranatha Baptist Church membership is 218 with Sunday School 
enrollment of 170 and a Training union enrollment of 140. 

Following the frontier, and being basically a layman's move- 
ment, it was to be expected that a Christian Church would be or- 
ganized in the new city of Rock Falls . So It was that in the year 
1897, a church was begun by organizing church school classes in 
the home of Mr. Elon Babcock. On November 11, 1897, a church, 
consisting of 31 persons and representing 17 families and called 
"The First Church of Christ (Disciples)", was organized in the 
home of Mr. Babcock. Work had already been started on a building 
erected on a lot donated by Mr. A.L. Merrill. This building was 

finished quickly and was dedicated on December 19, 1897. The de- 
dicatory service was conducted by Rev. J.H. Harden, President of 
Eureka College. 

The following persons were those who constituted the charter 
members of the church (as accurately as the writing of seventy 
years ago can be deciphered): Brothers Charles Smith, A.E. Bab- 
cock, Henry L. Shifter, M.T. Mouck, Elisha Wolford, Elon G. 
Babcock, Samuel Lowry, Charles Sumner and Will Adair; Sisters 
M.T. Mouck, Wm. Waugh, H.L. Shifter, Emily Babcock, Mary 
Smith, James Crichton, Mary G; Babcock, Jennie Lowry, Alice 
Wolford, Laura Fry, Genevieve A. Pearl (Smith), Nellie Pearl, 
Katie Sherman, Mary Norris, Anna Shifter, Charles Sumners, 
Ethel Mouck, Dellie Shiffer, Carrie Shifter, MoUie Baley, Charles 
Bert and Jennie Craughan. 

Equipment for this first church building came from many sources, 
some items being donated and some being purchased. The first 
communion service was given by the Sterling Christian Church and 
was used until 1910 when individual cups were used to replace the 
common chalice. 

Help for the new church was given In many ways by the Sterling 
Church. Ministers from Sterling held worship services regularly, 
and held evangelistic meetings. Other churches in the area assisted 
and their ministers held meetings which resulted in the Rock Falls 
Church growing. 

In May of 1900, five families of the church moved to Canada and 
their going threatened to spell the end of the new church. But these 
were hardy people and they continued on in spite of their reduced 
membership. Recently contact has been made with the last surviving 
member of the Elon G. Babcock family, In whose home the church 
was organized and she. Miss Mattie Babcock, is very much inter- 
ested in hearing about the progress of the church. 

The church was reorganized after the e.xodus of the families to 
Canada, with the help of the District Board and a series of meetings 
held by Rev. Harold E. Monser, which resulted in 34 additions to 
the church. Rev. W.A. Green was the first regular minister, be- 
ginning his work on April 24, 1904 and ending it on November 1, 
1905. Prior to this time, preaching had been done by the ministers 
of the First Christian Church, Sterling. 

As the church grew, it became necessary to enlarge thebuilding. 
A lot was purchased at the back of thebuilding, a basement installed 
and the church building moved back upon it. Most of the labor on 
this work was done by the men of the church . The building was en- 
larged and dedicated on May 18, 1913. 

Rev. Harry E. Shiffer began a longtime ministry on February 
20, 1920. He resigned in August 1958, but continued on until Rev. 
Richard Dawson was called on January 1, 1959. 

During Rev. Shifter's ministry, two disastrous fire were suf- 
fered by the church. The first occurred in 1932, badly damaging 
the building, but it was restored and services were renewed. On 
December 18, 1950, fire destroyed the building completely. During 
both these periods of time, the church met for services in Merrill 
School. Good fellowship has been experienced by the church and the 
school, for during a period of time when Merrill School needed 
more space, the school classes were held in the church. 

Another building program was started and onNovember 23, 1951, 
the present building was dedicated with Rev. C.C. Carpenter of 
Peoria in charge of the service. The mortgage on this building was 
paid off on June 30, 1956 and the mortgage was burned on Novem- 
ber 4, 1956 at a special service. 

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 



QJweeney ^ffiolel 

SOO U. S. RTE. 3D 


Phone 625-2324 

1 MILE SOUTH OF Sterling 






225 1st Avenue 
Rock Falls, Illinois 


Commerce House Restaurant 


209 1st Avenue Rock Fall s, 1 llinoi s 


"Across from the Post Office" 

Rocky Terronez Barber Shop 

1302;^ 8th Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois 
Phone 62S9835 


Authorized CASE dealer 

Route 30 & 8th Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois 


The Bright Spot Cafe 

Beulah McAndrews - Mgr. 
ROUTE 30 & 5th Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois 

Lehman's Grocery 

Herbert & Bernice Lehman - owners 
518 12th Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois 

Heating & Air Conditioning 

308 East 7th Street Rock Falls, Illinois 

Since this time, a number of memorial gifts have been made to 
the church which have been used to add equipment to the church, 
such as audio-visual equipment, office equipment, chancel furnish- 
ing, pictures, etc. A spire has been added to the church roof, mak- 
ing the brick colonial-type church more complete. 

Under Rev. Dawson, a DriscoU Evangelistic Campaign was 
conducted and 127 new members were added. At this time. Rev. 
Shiffer was made Minister-Emeritus and continues in this capacity 

Needing more space for the church school classes, a property 
to the south of the church was purchased in February 1960, and 
after remodeling the building, it was dedicated in June 1961 as "The 
First Christian Church Annex." At present, this is the location of 
the youth department of the church. The city of Rock Falls vacated 
the street between the two church properties and deeded it to the 
church. This has been made into a parking lot. 

The church was first incorporated in 1900. In 1960, new incor- 
poration papers were filed with the name of the church being changed 

from "The Church of Christ (Disciples)" to "The First Christian 
Church (Disciples of Christ)." The church is affiliated with the 
Illinois Disciples of Christ, The International Convention of Chris- 
tian Churches and Unified Promotion. The church operates under a 
constitution which was accepted by the church in February 1962. 

Following the resignation of Rev. Dawson to accept a charge in 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Rev. Donald C. Ward came to the church 
as its pastor and continues at the present in that capacity. 

Seventy years old this Centennial Year, The First Christian 
Church continues in its tradition of freedom and Christian tradition, 
and will continue to serve the community of Rock Falls . 

A list of the ministers who have served this church is as follows: 
Silas Jones (Sterling), 1898-1901; William E. Spicer (Sterling), 
1901-03; W. A. Green, 1904-05; Roy A. Stauffer, 1906-07; C.F. 
Ladd, 1907-09; J.W. Neslund, 1909-09; Roy A. Miller, 1911-15; 
Thorp, 1915-16; Reins, 1916-16; Paul M. Cook, 1917-19; Harry 
E. Shiffer, 1920-58; C. Richard Dawson, 1959-62;Donald C. Ward, 
1962- . 


Plumbing & Heating 


1004 Arland Rock Falls, Illinois 



Jim Harold, Owner 

422 Haskell Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois 



401 W. 12th Street Rock Falls, Illinois 
Phone 625-2767 



Rt. 30 Rock Falls, Illinois 



Betty Bryant - Alberta Purkapile 


113 W. 2nd Street Rock Falls, Illinois 


Mr. Fred Schettler, Mgr. 

Rt. 2 Rock Falls, Illinois 

Dial 626-2840 



12th Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois 


Clarence Car-Skaden, Owner 

221 Avenue C Rock Falls, Illinois 
Phone 625-2059 



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after ^^^ 
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Keep growing. And that's what Rock Falls has Today, wherever things are being put together to 

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For the last 60 years, we've been part of that fasteners are making an important contribution, 

growth. And Rock Falls people have been part of us. We're still growing on that foundation. Together. 

We provided the facilities. They gave of their skill Russell, Burdsall & Ward Bolt 

and pride of workmanship to turn out products vital and Nut Company. Rock Falls, 

to industrial progress. Illinois 61071. 



Home of 

^Xhrysier's SIMCA" 


Service - Sales - Parts 

''Rock Falls' ONLY New Car Dealer" 

Phone 625-4343 
1003 1st Avenue Rock Falls, Illinois